|[Published: Friday May 10 2019]
French troops free Burkina hostages
OUAGADOUGOU 10 May (ANA) - Four foreign hostages have been freed by French forces in the West African country of Burkina Faso, the French government says.
Two of those released are French. The other two are said to be an American woman and a South Korean woman.
Two French soldiers were killed during the raid, the French presidency said. Four kidnappers were also killed, AFP quoted the French military as saying.
The French hostages had been kidnapped in neighbouring Benin on 1 May.
The hostages' release was secured through a military operation conducted on Thursday night in the north of Burkina Faso, the Elysée palace said.
The two soldiers who were killed during the rescue were named as Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, described by officials as belonging to a special operations unit.
The French military posted photos of the soldiers on social media.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly thanked the militaries of Benin and Burkina Faso for their help in the operation and said the US had provided "precious" support.
Frenchmen Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, both music teachers, disappeared in the remote Pendjari National Park in Benin where they had been on safari. Their local guide was found dead.
The park is on the border with Burkina Faso where Islamist militants have been increasingly active in recent months.
No further details of the other two hostages liberated were given.
South Korean media quoted a government official as saying the authorities had no report of a missing citizen and they were trying to establish the rescued woman's citizenship.(ANA)
10 May 2019------