Two Frenchmen abducted in Niamey killed: security sources

8th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two Frenchmen kidnapped at gunpoint from a restaurant in central Niamey have been killed in unknown circumstances in Niger, security sources said Saturday.

"The two Frenchmen kidnapped in Niamey have been found killed. They were killed on Niger territory," a regional security source told AFP.

"I tell you that yes, the two French citizens kidnapped in Niger have been killed," a Niger security source said.

A separate Niger security source confirmed the deaths, saying: "The two hostages are dead."

The deaths were announced after Niger security forces said that they had located the men and their kidnappers in the desert between Niamey and the Mali border and exchanged fire, but held off for fear of wounding the hostages.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said earlier the leader of the military had been wounded in the clash with the kidnappers but that it "seemed" the operation "pursuing the terrorists as they head for Mali" was still under way.

One of the Frenchmen was an aid worker due to marry a local woman in a week, and the other a friend who had just arrived in Niamey to attend the ceremony, said the manager of the restaurant from where they were abducted late Friday.

© 2011 AFP

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