Burkina Faso: Ex-hostages pay homage to slain soldiers, tour guide

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By Agence France-Presse

Burkinabe authorities and the former French and Korean hostages on Saturday paid tribute to the two French soldiers who died during a raid in northern Burkina Faso.

A national tribute will be paid in Paris on Tuesday to the two soldiers who were killed during this intervention, which the French Foreign Minister described as “very complex”.

“The President of Burkina Faso expressed his sympathy for the two deaths recorded on the French side, in this friendly operation. The President also expressed his relief at the release of the ex-hostages”, said Burkinabe Foreign Minister, Alpha Barry.

Laurent Lassimouillas is one of the four ex-hostages freed.

“We wanted to offer our condolences right away to those families as we have mixed feelings about everything that is happening around us. And our thoughts go to our Beninese driver and guide who lost his life at the very beginning of our kidnapping. It was very difficult too. We would like to thank the French authorities, those of Burkina Faso, for having participated in our liberation . And so we are now very far from all this hell we have been through’‘, Lassimouillas said.

The two Frenchmen were kidnapped on May 1 during a trip to Benin, a country previously spared by insecurity in West Africa.

The disfigured body of their Beninese tour guide was found shortly after their disappearance.

They were released on Thursday along with a South Korean and an American woman who had been held captive for 28 days.