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Ten French Troops Killed in Afghanistan


At least 10 French soldiers have been killed and another 21 wounded in a battle with Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan.

Officials say the French troops were killed after Taliban insurgents attacked NATO forces Monday east of the capital, Kabul. At least 13 insurgents were also killed in the clash.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Afghanistan Tuesday to honor the troops. He reiterated France's commitment to fighting terrorism.

U.S. President George Bush sent his condolences to the victims' families and thanked France for its sacrifice in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said the attack was complex and involved multiple weapons systems - small arms, mortar and rockets.

Also Tuesday, a team of Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attempted to attack a U.S. military base near the eastern Afghan city of Khost, but failed to breach the complex.

The governor of Khost province, Arsala Jamal, says about 30 Taliban fighters attacked the base known as Camp Salerno. He says the bodies of six suicide bombers were found. Other Afghan officials say 13 militants died in the attack.

Taliban suicide bombers also attacked the same base Monday, killing 10 people and wounding at least 13 others.

In other news, Afghan officials say Pakistan's army chief visited Kabul Tuesday for talks with Afghan and international military officials.

General Ashfaq Kayani's trip comes a day after Pakistan's former president, Pervez Musharraf, stepped down to avoid possible impeachment charges. But an Afghan government spokesman says the trip was not connected to Mr. Musharraf's announcement, and was planned beforehand.


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