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In Libya 3 French soldiers killed

But Paris had never confirmed that it had special forces in the country, as reported by Le Monde daily.

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Three French soldiers killed in Libya play

Three French soldiers killed in Libya

(AFP)

Three French soldiers have been killed in Libya, the defence ministry said Wednesday, in the first official confirmation that France has troops in the country.

"Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian regrets the loss of three French officers who died while on mission in Libya," the ministry said in a statement without giving any details on the circumstances of their deaths.

Le Drian praised the "courage and devotion" of the slain soldiers and sent his condolences to their families. 

France had previously admitted that its warplanes were carrying out reconnaissance flights over the restive north African country, where Islamic State jihadists have a foothold.

But Paris had never confirmed that it had special forces in the country, as reported by Le Monde daily.

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