Hostages Killed During Niger Rescue Mission
French President Sarkozy calls kidnapping 'barbaric act'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2011 4:40 AM CST
The front gate of the restaurant in Niger where two French citizens were kidnapped Friday.   (AP Photo/Djibo Tagaza)
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(Newser) – Two French citizens kidnapped in Niger's capital on Friday night were apparently killed by their captors during an attempted rescue, CNN reports. Two French soldiers involved in the raid were injured and "many terrorists were killed," said a statement by the French Defense Ministry yesterday, which blamed the kidnapping on al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb. Though there was no conclusive proof that the two 25-year-old friends were killed by their captors, "everything leads us to believe ... that they were executed," said the statement.

French President Sarkozy called the kidnapping of Antoine de Leocour and Vincent Delory a "barbaric act." De Leocour was to marry a local woman in a week, and Delory was going to be his best man.