Kabul: NATO forces in Afghanistan on Saturday said that at least four French soldiers died and five others wounded when a suicide bomber wearing burqa targeted a NATO convoy.
Three of the five wounded troops are stated to be in critical condition.
The attack took place around 9.30 am in Nijrab district of Kapisa province, Xinhua quoted the private TV channel Tolo News as saying. Six others were injured.
The soldiers were part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
In an e-mail, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The group’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said a Taliban suicide bomber attacked a group of French troops and Afghan police officers in Kapisa province's Nijrab district. He said Afghan police officers were also killed in the explosion.
While reacting to the unfortunate incident, President Hollande's statement said, "All of France is affected by this tragedy."
Last month, French President,Francois Hollande announced that French combat troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of 2012, two years before the NATO pullout.
Notably, the majority of NATO troops in Kapisa province are French, but there are also other nations with forces there, including the United States.
It was the second deadly attack on NATO troops reported on Saturday. NATO forces said earlier in the day that a service member had been killed in a bomb attack in the east, without providing further details. It was not clear if the two incidents were related.
The latest deaths bring to 13 the number of international troops killed in June. So far this year, 189 international service members have been killed in Afghanistan.
(With Agency inputs)
First Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012, 15:03