Paris, August 19, 2008
In her battle against terrorism, France has just been hit hard.
Yesterday, 10 of our soldiers from 8th Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment, 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment and the Chad Marching Regiment died in Afghanistan. 21 others were injured during a joint reconnaissance mission with the Afghan national army. Significant assets, particularly air assets, were implemented with the allies’ support to provide back-up and free our troops caught up in an extremely violent ambush. The mission was taking place in the Kabul region, where our forces have been present with our allies since 2002.
It is with respect and sadness that I pay tribute to the courage of these men who carried out their duty until the supreme sacrifice. My thoughts go first to their families and loved-ones to whom, on the nation’s behalf, I convey my condolences. I express my sympathy and support to the injured in this ordeal. I share, too, the grief of their comrades and, beyond that, of every French soldier. I shall be going to Afghanistan this evening to assure them that France is at their side.
I am as determined as ever. France is resolved to pursue the battle against terrorism, for democracy and freedom. The cause is just, France and her armies are honour-bound to defend it. On behalf of all the French I renew the nation’s confidence to our armies in carrying out their mission./.