French hostages killed in Niger rescue operation: ministry

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Two Frenchmen kidnapped in Niger were killed during a rescue operation near the Mali border on Saturday, French Defence Minister Alain Juppe said in a statement.

"When they (the kidnappers) arrived at the border zone, the operation was launched, coordinated with French elements in the region, allowing (Niger's National Guard) to intercept the terrorists on the border with Mali and neutralise some of them," Juppe said.

"At the end of the operation, the bodies of the two hostages were discovered without life," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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