It was the worst loss for France’s military for a quarter of a century. But, as tribute was paid in Paris to ten French soldiers slain in Afghanistan, questions were being asked about how they met their deaths.
Just back from a visit to the war zone, President Nicolas Sarkozy joined most of the government and victims’ families for a solemn religious ceremony.
Meanwhile, newspapers were casting doubt on the official version of events. Among the questions being asked: Were the troops really all killed by the Taliban in an ambush? Or did some fall victim to so-called friendly fire?
With his country no stranger to military losses in Afghanistan, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made a surprise visit to the country.
Amid an upsurge in Taliban violence, Brown brought welcome news to his host, President Hamid Karzai. The UK leader said his government would put more resources into training the Afghan army. He also pledged an additional 81 million euros for a fund that channels development aid to the government in Kabul.