World

France honors 7 killed in Afghanistan

July 19: French President Nicolas Sarkozy pins the Legion of Honor medal on the flag-draped coffins lined up outside the Invalides church, as tribute is paid by France to the seven French soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan.

July 19: French President Nicolas Sarkozy pins the Legion of Honor medal on the flag-draped coffins lined up outside the Invalides church, as tribute is paid by France to the seven French soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan.  (AP2011)

France's president and military leadership are paying homage to seven soldiers killed in Afghanistan as the country prepares to wind down its decade-long Afghan operation.

Last week was one of the deadliest for French troops since the operation began in 2001. The seven soldiers killed were honored Tuesday in a somber funeral ceremony at the site of Napoleon's tomb in central Paris.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and several government ministers stood beneath a chilly downpour as they watched the coffins carried past, draped in the French tricolor.

Some 1,000 of France's 4,000 troops in Afghanistan will be brought home by the end of next year, with a full withdrawal of the country's combat forces in 2014.