French, Dutch soldiers among Afghan fatalities: Sarkozy

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Two soldiers who died in southern Afghanistan earlier in the day were a French and a Dutch national, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dutch military said Saturday.

The two, and a third unidentified soldier, were killed along with a civilian working with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). They died in two separate incidents, the alliance said.

The French soldier was a captain from an engineering regiment, Sarkozy said in a statement.

He was the 41st French soldier to be killed in Afghanistan since the deployment of international troops in late 2001. France has some 3,500 soldiers deployed in the country.

The Netherlands' chief of defence General Peter van Uhm said the Dutch soldier was 25-year-old corporal, Luc Janzen. Four Dutch soldiers were also injured in the attack, two seriously.

His death brings to 24 the total number of Dutch soldiers killed since the Dutch mission started in 2006. Around 1,950 Dutch troops are deployed in Afghanistan under the ISAF mission.

Dutch troops were set to start withdrawing from Uruzgan in August, to be completed by year-end. The Dutch government collapsed in February in a spat over whether to extend the deployment.

© 2010 AFP

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