The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is flying to Afghanistan after ten French soldiers were killed in a major battle east of Kabul.
It is the biggest single loss of foreign troops in combat since 2001.
Some 21 other French peacekeepers were also hurt in the fighting.
The soldiers were killed when Taliban insurgents ambushed their reconnaissance patrol. Only 12 French troops have previously died in the country since the US-led campaign began in 2001.
France’s Foreign Minister said they died for a just cause and stressed continued support for the battle against terrorism.
“Nothing will change regarding France’s policy in Afghanistan. We’re determined to remain at the of our allies,” he said.
While fighting raged east of Kabul, a wave of Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attempted to attack the main US base in southeastern Afghanistan.
A total of seven insurgents were killed.