Two French Soldiers Killed

    French soldiers patrol during a disarmament operation in Bangui, on December 9, 2013. French troops on Monday began disarming fighters in the Central African Republic after a swell in sectarian violence that has claimed hundreds of lives and terrified inhabitants.  AFP PHOTO / SIA KAMBOU        (Photo credit should read SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images)

    Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty,AFP

    Two French soldiers were killed in combat overnight in the Central African Republic, Paris confirmed Tuesday. They are the first French deaths since the country deployed 1,600 soldiers in the United Nations-backed operation in CAR, which has been in chaos since March, when Michel Djotodia ousted President Francois Bozize. French President Francois Hollande, who is in South Africa attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial, issued a statement saying the soldiers “lost their lives to save many others.” The Red Cross said 394 people had been killed in three days of fighting in Bangui, CAR’s capital, although the French army said it had restored some order to the region. The U.S. has also agreed to help transport African Union peacekeeping troops to the region.

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