France Honors Bulgarian, French Soldiers Killed in AfghanistanDefense | January 24, 2012, Tuesday // 08:16| views
The bodies of the four French soldiers, including one Bulgarian-born man, who were killed in northern Afghanistan Friday, after a serviceman from the Afghan National Army opened fire, were transported to Paris on Monday. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Paris will commemorate on Tuesday the four soldiers from the French military contingent who were killed in Afghanistan last week, including Bulgarian sergeant Svilen Simeonov.
The military honors ceremony will be held at the Home of the Disabled Soldiers in Paris at noon with only the relatives of the dead and officials attending.
Before that the motorcade will pass through the bridge "Alexander III", where the citizens of Paris have been invited to express their homage with „dignified silence and fraternal presence", according to the invitation by the Paris garrison commander.
The gesture is meant to raise awareness of the fate of French soldiers in Afghanistan.
The bodies of the four French soldiers, including one Bulgarian-born man, who were killed in northern Afghanistan Friday, after a serviceman from the Afghan National Army opened fire, were transported to Paris on Monday.
The killer has confessed that he was motivated by the despicable video clip, distributed online, showing US soldiers urinating on the dead bodies of murdered Afghani servicemen.
French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet, who left for Afghanistan immediately after the incident, traveled on the same craft that transported the bodies. They were sent from Kabul with military honors and will be buried with such in Paris.
Most of the 16 injured were also transported to France.
Longuet informed earlier that the killer, 21, had been recruited by the Taliban.
In the aftermath, President Nickolas Sarkozy said France was suspending its training programs in Afghanistan and that the question of an early French withdrawal would arise if security conditions were not re-established. The relatives of the victims have demanded from Sarkozy to immediately implement the latter move.
The subject will be on the agenda of the upcoming visit to Paris of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday.
Simeonov was born in the Bulgarian village of Rakovski, near the northeastern city of Razgrad.
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