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French Soldiers Killed Rescuing American Hostage

3 other foreign hostages also rescued in Burkina Faso
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2019 8:04 AM CDT
File photo of a soldier standing guard outside the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, after it was attacked by al-Qaeda-linked extremists in 2016.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

(Newser) – An American woman is among four hostages freed by French soldiers during a raid in the African nation of Burkina Faso. Two French soldiers were killed in the overnight raid, which was supported by US intelligence, reports Reuters. Not much is known about the US woman, including her identity, who kidnapped her, or how long she'd been a captive. She and a Korean woman were rescued, along with two Frenchmen who were kidnapped while on a safari in neighboring Benin about two weeks ago. The New York Times notes that both ISIS and al-Qaeda are active in the region.

The Frenchmen had been in Benin's Pendjari National Park when abducted May 1, and the AFP provides a quick civics lesson on the region: "Benin is considered an island of stability in West Africa, a troubled region where many jihadist groups operate, but Pendjari lies on the porous and remote border with Burkina Faso, which has been hard hit by militant violence." French President Emmanuel Macron said he "bows with emotion" over the sacrifice made by the two soldiers. (A Canadian woman and her partner remain missing after being kidnapped in Burkina Faso.)

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