French President Francois Hollande confirmed the death of four French soldiers and the wounding of five more in Afghanistan in a statement from his office on Saturday.
"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 statement said.The French soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan's eastern Kapisa province on Saturday morning, according to officials.
Earlier, a spokesperson for police zone 202 Shamshad with its jurisdiction in eastern Afghanistan told TOLOnews that six French soldiers were killed and three others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his body-borne explosives near the troops who were patrolling the Nijrab district.
Three Afghan civilians were wounded in the same blast, he said.
The attack happened around 9:45 am when a man wearing a burqa approached the French soldiers, who were on foot, and detonated his explosives.
Isaf released a statement at midday saying that four Isaf soldiers had been killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.
It had earlier released a statement at 10:30 am saying that an Isaf soldier died from the blast of an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan.
No details of the soldiers' nationality or the location of the incidents were given, according to Isaf practice.
The two Isaf statements appear to be unrelated incidents, and the "insurgent attack" likely referred to the suicide bomber in Kapisa.
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in an emailed statement from the spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
It said 12 French soldiers were killed along with three Afghan policemen. It mentioned that two Afghan civilians were also wounded. The Taliban statements frequently inflate casualties of foreign soldiers resulting from their attacks.
The Taliban named the suicide bomber as Matiullah from the Charasyab district of Kabul province.
The five soldiers' deaths bring the total number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 193, according to icasualties.org which tracks the number of deaths.
The four French soldiers killed brings France's total number of war dead to 87 since the start of the US-led military intervention in 2001.
Hollande has pledged to withdraw 2,000 soldiers of its 3,400-strong force from Afghanistan by the end of the year.