French Special Forces Successfully Free Kidnapped Tourists In Burkina Faso

Though two French special forces officers were killed Friday in a military operation in the West African nation of Burkina Faso that freed four people.2 min


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The authorities said, Four "terrorists" also were killed during the pre-dawn operation in northern Burkina Faso that was carried out to free the two French tourists, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said.

It was "an operation of rare difficulty" that grew more complex with the discovery of the American and South Korean hostages being held with the French citizens, Parly added.

Despite careful planning, "no one had any knowledge" of the presence of an American and a South Korean, she said at a news conference.

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to welcome home the French citizens and the South Korean citizen at a military airport outside Paris on Saturday evening, his office said. 

The two Frenchmen rescued were identified as music teachers Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, BBC News reported. Both men disappeared while on safari last week at the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin. Their guide was later found dead. 

The two military officers who died in the operation

French Army via AP

In a statement Friday, Macron expressed condolences over the deaths of the two Marine commandos participating in France's Barkhane Operation.

A military ceremony for the commandos is planned for next week. Macron thanked authorities in Burkina Faso and Benin for their cooperation and promised them support in fighting terrorism.


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