French minister to Niger after hostages killed: Paris

9th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Defence Minister Alain Juppe will go to Niger on Monday to meet officials after two young French hostages were killed there, his ministry said on Sunday.

Juppe will meet "Nigerien authorities and the French community" in Niger, said an official in the defence ministry who asked not to be named. He cancelled a visit to Gabon to make the urgent trip, the official added.

A French husband-to-be and his friend visiting for the wedding were seized at gunpoint on Friday and found dead on Saturday after Niger and French forces fought the kidnappers to try and free the two.

"Pending the outcome of an investigation, everything seems to indicate that the two French hostages were executed," said Thierry Burkhard, a spokesman for the armed forces in the defence ministry earlier on Sunday.

© 2011 AFP

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