The deaths of five French soldiers in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan will overshadow the country’s ‘Bastille Day’ celebrations this July 14.
Parliament in Paris has paid tribute to the troops, killed while protecting tribal leaders in the northeastern province of Kapisa. An Afghan civilian also died. Several people were injured, among them four more French soldiers who have been badly hurt.
In a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday, President Nicolas Sarkozy said that a quarter of France’s 4,000 strong military contingent would be withdrawn by the end of 2012. Serving in the Nato-led operation there, 69 French soldiers have now been killed since 2001.