2 French paratroopers die in fighting in Central Africa Republic

Dec. 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM   |   Comments

BANGUI, Central African Republic, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Two French troops were killed in a combat operation in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui, the French president's office announced Tuesday.

A statement issued by President Francois Hollande's office said the paratroopers were killed during an overnight operation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

They were the first reported deaths of French soldiers since France deployed forces to the Central African Republic last week.

"They lost their lives to save many others," the statement said.

France sent 1,600 troops on a mission to re-establish peace in Central Africa Republic. The intervention with an African Union peacekeeping force that has a goal of disarming militias was authorized Thursday by the U.N. Security Council.

Hollande was expected to visit Bangui Tuesday as he returned to France from South Africa where he attended a memorial service for former President Nelson Mandela.

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