Four hostages freed in Burk­ina Faso by French spe­cial forces

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - TOP STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD -

PARIS AFP MAY10, 2019- French spe­cial forces have freed two French hostages, an Amer­i­can and a South Korean in north­ern Burk­ina Faso in an overnight mil­i­tary raid that cost the lives of two sol­diers, the French pres­i­dency said Fri­day.

The op­er­a­tion was or­dered to free the French hostages, iden­ti­fied as Pa­trick Picque and Lau­rent Las­si­mouil­las, who dis­ap­peared while on hol­i­day in the re­mote Pend­jari Na­tional Park in Benin on May 1.

The iden­tity of the Amer­i­can and South Korean hostages was not im­me­di­ately known, but they were both said to be women in the state­ment. The lo­ca­tion of the raid con­firmed that the French tourists had been kid­napped in Benin and taken over the nearby bor­der into Burk­ina Faso, where Is­lamist ter­ror groups have stepped up at­tacks in re­cent months. Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron “wants to con­grat­u­late the French armed forces for the lib­er­a­tion of the hostages, and in­cludes every­one who worked along­side them,” a state­ment from the pres­i­dency said.

“He bows with emo­tion and solem­nity be­fore the sac­ri­fice of our two sol­diers who gave their lives to save those of our cit­i­zens,” the state­ment added.

For­mer colo­nial ruler France has 4,500 troops de­ployed in Mali, Burk­ina Faso, Niger and Chad in a mis­sion co­de­named Barkhane to help lo­cal forces try to flush out ji­hadist groups.

Lau­rent Las­si­mouil­las (L) and Pa­trick Picque pos­ing at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion

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