Ten French paratroopers have been killed in fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Afghan and French officials said a further 21 soldiers were wounded in a major battle which started with an ambush on Monday and continued through the night.
The fighting was about 50 kilometres east of the capital Kabul.
It was the biggest single loss of French troops in Afghanistan since US-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
France has around 2,000 troops with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he was flying to Afghanistan to show the troops that France is behind them.