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'10 French NATO troops killed in Afghanistan'

world Updated: Aug 19, 2008 16:03 IST

AFP
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Ten French NATO troops were killed on Monday and Tuesday in battles following a Taliban insurgent ambush near the Afghan capital Kabul, a French presidency source said.

"It was a Taliban ambush," said the source, adding that the clashes began on Monday and continued into Tuesday.

Military officials in Kabul said the clashes started with an attack on an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patrol in Sarobi district, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the capital.

The latest casualties bring to 24 the number of French troops killed in action or in accidents in Afghanistan since French soldiers were first sent there in 2002.

Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said that 13 rebels including a Pakistani national had also been killed in the clashes.

The Taliban insurgents claimed meanwhile they had attacked ISAF troops in Sarobi and blown up several vehicles.

Most of the 3,000 French troops participating in the 40-nation ISAF are in Kabul province, which includes Sarobi, and in Kapisa province, northeast of the capital.