NATO is reporting that five of its service members were killed in two separate incidents in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday. In the first attack in Kapisa province, four French soldiers were killed and five others wounded.
The French government stated that a Taliban suicide bomber was to blame for the attack, in which they were disguised as a woman, blowing himself up, according to Voice of America. Three of the soldiers injured are in serious condition.
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, noting that Afghan forces also suffered casualties during the bombing.
French President Francois Hollande announced earlier this week that Paris will be pulling out 2,000 combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, which is way ahead of NATO’s target withdrawal of 2014.
Yahoo News reports that Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi stated:
“It was an unfortunate incident. There was a patrol of coalition soldiers in a small bazaar and they were attacked by a suicide bomber wearing a burqa.”
Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a NATO spokesman, confirmed the incident on Saturday, offering his apologies. He stated:
“We have lost in the incident in the eastern Afghanistan this morning four coalition soldiers who perished in a suicide attack and of course we are deeply sorry about this incident.”
The French soldiers killed were responding to a reports that a bomb was planted under a bridge in a main marked area of Nijrab district of Kapisa province. The bomber walked up to them and detonated the explosives, according to China Today.