French troops free hostages in Burkina Faso

2 French soldiers killed while freeing 4 kidnapped tourists in Burkina Faso

Breaking: French forces free American, South Korean in Burkina Faso

The South Korean defense chief on Friday held telephone talks with the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, who explained the hostage rescue operation conducted in the West African nation.

A team from the elite Hubert Commando unit targeted the site where two French tourists, an American and a South Korean were being held. The fourth hostage, an American woman, was not identified, and was flown back to the United States without speaking to Macron, according to The Daily Mail.

The two French soldiers who died were killed at close quarters as they entered one of the kidnappers' four shelters, the general said. And our thoughts go to our Beninese driver and guide who lost his life at the very beginning of our kidnapping.

The hostages arrived at Villacoublay airport, near Paris, France.

France has 4,500 troops in a military force in the Sahel aimed at helping local governments fight Islamic extremists.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France was doing all it could to secure the release of another French hostage, Sophie Petronin, who was kidnapped by gunmen in December 2016 in the northern Malian city of Gao. They expressed regret over what happened and French officials say their captors were "terrorists" who planned to transport them to an Al Qaeda affiliate in Mali.

"The zone where our two compatriots were has been considered for a while now as a red zone. where you take a major risk by going", Le Drian said.

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Those freed in the overnight raid on Friday included two French tourists, an American woman and a South Korean woman, the French presidency said in a statement.

Two French soldiers were killed in the operation to rescue two French citizens who were kidnapped last week in neighboring Benin. He described the militant group as "terrorists" without giving them a precise title.

Mr Pique, 51, a jeweler, and Mr Lassimouillas, 46, a piano teacher, had been at the end of a trip to the remote Pendjari National Park.

The disfigured body of their tour guide was later found, along with their abandoned vehicle.

The French statements did not indicate who was holding the hostages.

Emmanuel Macron gave the order for the rescue. Two French soldiers and four kidnappers were killed during the rescue.

"I want to thank French authorities and Burkina Faso ones", Lassimouillas told reporters at the presidential palace in the capital of Ouagadougou before a meeting with Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, Burkina Faso's President.

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