The French president’s office on Saturday confirmed that four French soldiers were killed and five were wounded in Afghanistan’s eastern Kapisa province.
“This morning during an operation in Afghanistan in Kapisa province, four of our French soldiers were killed. Five wounded were evacuated including three in a serious condition,” the office said in a statement.
“It is with the greatest emotion that I share the grief of the families,” President Francois Hollande said in the statement. “Today all of France is affected.”
The soldiers were killed in a suicide attack against a convoy of NATO-led troops in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.
Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent to reporters.
France provides the fifth largest contingent to NATO’s 130,000-strong US-led force in Afghanistan, with 3,500 soldiers stationed mostly in Kapisa.
“I wish to salute the courage and devotion of our French troops in Afghanistan,” Hollande said, adding that he had asked Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to head to the country on Sunday.
Hollande was to make a “solemn statement” on the attack at 1300 GMT, the presidential palace said.