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France

French soldier among six foreign troops killed in insurgent attacks

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2010-01-12

Six foreign troops were killed on Monday in insurgent attacks across Afghanistan, including a French soldier who died in a rebel raid on his convoy in the Alasay valley north-east of Kabul.

Six international soldiers were killed on Monday in a wave of violence in some of the most volatile regions of insurgency-wracked Afghanistan, NATO said.

The dead included three Americans killed in southern Afghanistan, one French soldier who died northeast of the capital Kabul, and two more whose nationalities have not yet officially been given, NATO and military officials said.

The deaths bring to 15 the number of foreign soldiers who have died in Afghanistan this year, fighting a virulent Taliban insurgency.

The French soldier was killed when an attack struck a convoy of French and Afghan forces in the Alasay valley northeast of Kabul, according a statement by the French republic presidency.

"A non-commissioned officer paid with his life for the commitment of France to the peace and security of the Afghan people and another officer was also very gravely wounded," it said.

The victim was the 37th French soldier to die in Afghanistan since the current war began in 2001.

France has 3,300 troops in Afghanistan serving in NATO's mission to stabilise the country, against fierce resistance from fighters loyal to the ousted Taliban regime.

Sarkozy, "strongly condemned this blind violence and expressed France's determination to continue to work within the (NATO-led) International Security Assistance Force," the statement said.

France has signalled it may agree to send reinforcements to Afghanistan in response to a request from US President Barack Obama who is looking to boost the troop presence there and end the war.

A major conference on Afghanistan is scheduled to take place in London at the end of this month, bringing together all the major allies and Afghan officials to chart a new course for the Afghan mission in light of the new US strategy.

Date created : 2010-01-11

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