5 soldiers dead as Bastille celebrations begin

Published on 14 July 2011 at 10:32


“A July 14 in mourning”, headlines Le Parisien. On the eve of the 222nd anniversary of the French revolution, a national holiday, France has learned of the death of five of its soldiers in Afghanistan (with four others seriously injured) in a suicide attack in the region of Kapisa (north-east of Kabul). The Taliban have claimed responsibility. “Emotions are running even higher in the country and in the military community given that the attack came one day after the announcement of a first withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan,” the popular Paris daily writes. During a lightning visit to Afghanistan, President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed that a thousand men, a quarter of the French contingent currently deployed there, would leave by the end of 2012. This attack, writes Le Parisien, “is the hardest blow suffered by the French army in Afghanistan since the Uzbin ambush of August 18, 2008, when ten French soldiers were killed.”

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