President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday held an emergency security meeting as yet another French soldier was killed in Afghanistan, a day after five others died in a suicide attack there.
Sarkozy said the meeting, which gathered his prime minister, defence and foreign affairs ministers and military top brass, was to discuss how to keep French combat troops safe before they quit Afghanistan by 2014.
Shortly after Sarkozy spoke at the parade, his office announced that a French soldier had been killed Thursday while taking part in an operation alongside Afghan police in Kapisa province, east of Kabul.
That brought to 70 the number of French soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since 2001, when they deployed to support the US-led campaign to overthrow the Taliban regime and hunt Al-Qaeda militants.
It came just a day after Sarkozy returned from a surprise visit to the country and was also a blow to his struggle to defend his country's role in Afghanistan