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Sarkozy Reaffirms Afghanistan Commitment After Troops Killed

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reaffirmed his country's military commitment to Afghanistan after 10 French soldiers were killed and 21 were wounded in a Taliban attack.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with French soldiers in Kabul

Ten French troops were killed this week in Afghanistan

Sarkozy, who landed in Kabul Wednesday, Aug. 20, visited French troops in Camp Warehouse on the eastern outskirts of Kabul and paid his respects to the dead soldiers, according to a diplomatic source speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The French president also met with wounded soldiers in a military hospital inside the camp, which houses multinational troops serving in a 40-nation, NATO-led mission in the country.

Sarkozy also reaffirmed his military commitment to President Hamid Karzai, the Afghan presidential office said in a statement.

"This cowardly attack will not only have any affect on our cooperation with Afghanistan, but it will even strengthen our will in the fight against terrorism," Sarkozy was quoted as saying.

The statement said Sarkozy told French soldiers, "Your struggle in Afghanistan is important for the freedom of the world and it should be continued."

Worst attack on French troops in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and French President Nicolas Sarkozy inspect the gaurd of honor at president palace in Kabul

Sarkozy also reaffirmed his military commitment to Karzai

The 10 soldiers, from elite paratroops and marine regiments, were killed by a group of 100 Taliban insurgents who attacked their convoy in Uzbeen area of Sarobi district, 50 kilometers (39 miles) from Kabul on Monday and Tuesday.

It was the worst attack against the French troops since their deployment to Afghanistan following the ouster of the Taliban regime by a US-led invasion in late 2001.

It was also the deadliest incident for the NATO forces in the country, which total about 53,000 troops. Nine US soldiers were killed in eastern Kunar province in July, when Taliban fighters attacked their base.

More than 170 international troops have been killed so far this year.

Sarkozy was accompanied by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Defence Minister Herve Morin, official sources said. The French president left Afghanistan after meeting with Karzai.

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