PARIS: The French president's office on Saturday confirmed that four French soldiers were killed and five were wounded in an attack claimed by the Taliban 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 by this tragedy."
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 and the capital Kabul.
Saturday's attack brings to 87 the number of French soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the start of the deployment in late 2001.
"I wish to salute the courage and devotion of our French troops in Afghanistan," Hollande said, adding that he had asked Defence 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.
The new French president will make the statement from the south-central city of Tulle, where he is to attend a ceremony commemorating a Nazi massacre of civilians in June 1944, it said. (AFP)