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Suicide Attack Kills 5 French Troops in Afghanistan


Officials say a suicide bomber has killed five French soldiers in eastern Afghanistan.

Wednesday's attack took place in the Tagab district of Kapisa province.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said the bomber detonated his explosives near French troops who were protecting a local council meeting in the Joybar area. At least one Afghan civilian was also killed and four other French soldiers were wounded.

The deaths come a day after President Sarkozy visited Afghanistan and announced his country would pull out 1,000 troops by the end of 2012, roughly a quarter of France's current force in Afghanistan.

Following the attack in Kapisa, Sarkozy's office said Wednesday that France is determined to remain part of the NATO-led coalition to bring stability to Afghanistan.

Wednesday's suicide bombing brings the number of French troops killed in the country to 69 since 2001.

The attack on French forces was the worst since 2008, when 10 soldiers were killed and 21 wounded in a Taliban ambush in the Uzbin Valley, south of the Afghan capital.

Violence is at its worst point in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion a decade ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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