France condemns 'odious' Afghan attacks
Paris - France on Tuesday condemned two blasts at Afghan shrines that killed at least 59 people on the Shi'ite holy day of Ashura, and said it stood by the Afghan people.
"These cowardly and odious acts ... plunge Afghanistan into mourning as it is already tested by extremism and terrorism," French foreign ministry spokesperson Bernard Valero said in a statement.
"France expresses its full solidarity [with the Afghan people] and reaffirms to the Afghan government its determination to remain engaged at its side in the fight against terrorism," he added.
An attack sowed carnage in Kabul on Tuesday, killing 55 people and wounding 134. A second, near simultaneous strike in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif killed four.
The Taliban denied responsibility for the attacks, blaming "the invading enemy" - an apparent reference to the 140 000-strong foreign force in Afghanistan.