American hostage rescued as French commandos killed in Africa rescue raid – Washington Examiner
French military forces freed four hostages, including an American woman, during a rescue operation in Burkina Faso.
Two soldiers were killed during the rescue, according to France’s presidential palace.
The raid had been focused on retrieving two French tourists, Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, who were abducted May 1 in Benin, a French-speaking country in West Africa, after leaving their hotel to go on a safari in a national park. Their safari guide was found dead.
During the overnight Thursday raid, French special forces discovered two other hostages, an American woman and a South Korean. It is unclear when or where they went missing.
U.S intelligence assisted in the rescue.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday the country plans next week to honor the two Marine commandos who died in the operation, Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello.
“They gave their lives to free others,” Macron said. “On Tuesday, we will pay a national tribute to the Invalides to Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello. From now on, let’s bring our thoughts to their families and brothers in arms.”
Macron also thanked the Beninese and Burkinabe authorities for their cooperation in the rescue.
He assured them of “France’s full willingness to help them in their fight against terrorism in the Sahel.”
There has been increasing level of terrorist activity in the region by groups linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
The U.S. State Department has advised Americans to “reconsider travel” to Burkina Faso since April due to risk of “terrorism and kidnapping.”
It warns that “terrorist groups continue plotting attacks and kidnappings in Burkina Faso and may conduct attacks anywhere with no warning.”
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