First casualties for the French army into operation Sangaris in Central African Republic 1110131

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First casualties for French army in Central African Republic

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013 10:00 AM
 
First casualties for the French army into operation Sangaris in Central African Republic.
Two French soldiers were killed in overnight fighting during Sangaris operation in the Central African Republic, France's first casualties in an operation to restore stability in its former colony. France reported that gunmen killed two of its soldiers who were part of the intervention to disarm thousands of rebels accused of attacking civilians.
     
Two French soldiers were killed in overnight fighting during Sangaris operation in the Central African Republic, France's first casualties in an operation to restore stability in its former colony. France reported that gunmen killed two of its soldiers who were part of the intervention to disarm thousands of rebels accused of attacking civilians.
The French soldiers continue to secure the streets of Bangui in Central African Republic.
     

During the night of 9 to 10 December 2013, a patrol of the French army was attacked by armed men. Five to 10 gunmen opened fire on the French patrol, which returned fire. Two French soldiers, from the 8th Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (8e RPIMa) based in Castres, died after coming under attack at close range during an overnight patrol, the government said.

The soldiers' deaths in the capital were announced just before French President Francois Hollande's office said he would make a quick stop-over in Bangui on his way back from a memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

"The French President expresses his deep respect for the two soldiers' sacrifice," his office said in a statement.

French troops have also been deployed to other towns across the country, where a regional African peacekeeping force has struggled to stamp its authority.

French forces began their operation in the country, from east of Cameroon and north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Friday, December 6, 2013, a day after the U.N. resolution authorizing their deployment was approved.

Currently, 1,600 French soldiers are deployed in the Central African Republic . The Sangaris operation was launched by the French President Francois Hollande to restore the security and to help the regional MISCA (International Support Mission in the Central African Republic) force.

     
The soldiers' deaths in the capital were announced just before French President Francois Hollande's office said he would make a quick stop-over in Bangui on his way back from a memorial service for the late Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
French President Francois Hollande, left, addresses the French soldiers during a stopover from South Africa in Bangui, Central African Republic, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013.
 

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