Insurgents in Afghanistan killed four French soldiers and wounded another five yesterday, one of the deadliest attacks on the French contingent in months.

The raid occurred in mountainous Kapisa province.

A statement from the office of French President Francois Hollande said three were in a serious condition, and Hollande had despatched defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Afghanistan after the attack.

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The Taliban have vowed to target the Afghan government and security forces, as well as the 130,000 foreign troops in the country, most of whom are due to leave by the end of 2014.