Hostages freed by French commandos from militants in Burkina Faso supplied their condolences on Saturday to the households of the 2 French troopers killed within the rescue operation.
In a daring raid over the evening of Thursday to Friday, French particular forces liberated two Frenchmen kidnapped in neighboring Benin greater than per week earlier in addition to an American girl and a South Korean girl who have been being held with them.
The 2 Frenchmen, Laurent Lassimouillas and Patrick Picque, and the South Korean girl, who has not but been recognized, met Burkinabe President Roch Kabore on the presidential palace within the capital Ouagadougou.
The three are because of be welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron at a navy airport outdoors Paris afterward Saturday. The American, who has not been recognized both, is being repatriated to america.
“All our ideas go to the households of the troopers and to the troopers who misplaced their lives to free us from this hell,” stated Lassimouillas in remarks to reporters.
“We wished to current our condolences instantly to these households as a result of we really feel ambivalent about all the pieces that occurred to us,” he stated.
WATCH: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes hostages rescued in Burkina Faso
The French authorities recognized the 2 troopers killed as Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, each officers within the naval particular forces.
Lassimouillas additionally expressed remorse over the dying of the Beninese park information, who was killed when the 2 vacationers have been kidnapped whereas on safari in northern Benin earlier than being spirited throughout the border into Burkina Faso.
French officers stated on Friday that it was not but clear who had kidnapped them in Benin however described their captors in Burkina Faso as “terrorists” who deliberate handy them over to an al Qaeda affiliate in neighboring Mali.
Jihadist teams with hyperlinks to al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their presence throughout West Africa’s Sahel area, a strip of scrubland beneath the Sahara desert, lately and brought a lot of Western hostages.
France, the previous colonial energy within the area, intervened in Mali in 2013 to halt an advance by Islamist militants towards the capital Bamako and has stored about four,500 troops within the Sahel since then.
Talking to Europe 1 radio, French Overseas Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian repeated warnings to French residents towards touring to northern Benin.
“The zone the place our two compatriots have been has been thought of for some time now as a pink zone … the place you are taking a significant threat by going,” Le Drian stated.
It was nonetheless unclear how the American and South Korean ended up as hostages. French officers stated they’d been in captivity for 4 weeks however didn’t consider the U.S. or South Korean governments have been conscious they have been being held.