Three French soldiers killed in Afghan storm

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The Independent Online

Officials in France say three French soldiers have been killed in a violent storm in northeastern Afghanistan.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says the three died while taking part in an operation on Saturday night in the Afghanya Valley. French military spokesman Christophe Prazuck says one of the soldiers was struck by lightning while the other two were swept away by a flooding river.

The three were among 600 French soldiers patrolling Afghanistan's Kapisa region. The statement Sunday from Sarkozy's office said he sent condolences to their families and reaffirmed France's commitment to "re-establishing peace and development in Afghanistan."

France has about 3,000 troops in Afghanistan.