Saturday 25 May 2019

Two French special forces commandos killed in raid to rescue hostages from terrorist group

 

French Defence Minister Florence Parly takes part in a news conference after two French soldiers were killed in a rescue operation of four hostages in Burkina Faso. Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
French Defence Minister Florence Parly takes part in a news conference after two French soldiers were killed in a rescue operation of four hostages in Burkina Faso. Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Nick Allen

French special forces have rescued four hostages during a night-time raid on a terrorist camp in Burkina Faso.

Two French commandos died in the assault and four terrorists were killed.

The rescued hostages included Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, two French citizens who had disappeared on May 1 while on safari in the tiny neighbouring west African nation of Benin.

Mr Pique (51), a jeweller, and Mr Lassimouillas (46), a piano teacher, had been at the end of a trip to the remote Pendjari National Park.

After going out with Fiacre Gbedji, their local guide, they had been due back at the lodge where they were staying by evening, but never returned.

Three days later, the body of their guide was found in the park, riddled with bullets.

In the raid, two other hostages, an American and a South Korean, both women, were also found. They had been held for 28 days but their governments were unaware that they had been kidnapped.

Cedric de Pierrepont (32) and Alain Bertoncello (27), the soldiers who died in the raid, were both members of the prestigious Hubert commando unit. They had been deployed in the region since March 30 to counter Islamist groups.

A government statement said President Emmanuel Macron "bows with emotion and solemnity before the sacrifice of our two soldiers who gave their lives". (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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