A French special forces soldier was killed and one was seriously wounded when their vehicle struck a mine while patrolling in southern Afghanistan (search), the Defense Ministry said Sunday.

The patrol was part of a major operation to ensure security while Afghans voted in legislative elections, a ministry statement said. It did not provide the exact location of the incident on Saturday.

France sent 200 special forces to Afghanistan in 2003 to take part in operations against the Taliban militia. The soldiers, drawn from various ranks of the military — land, sea and air — operate under U.S. special forces command.