News / Africa

2 French Hostages Killed in Niger

A man stands outside the front gate to the Toulousain restaurant, from inside which witnesses say two French nationals were kidnapped at gunpoint late Friday by turbaned men, in Niamey, Niger, 08 Jan 2011
A man stands outside the front gate to the Toulousain restaurant, from inside which witnesses say two French nationals were kidnapped at gunpoint late Friday by turbaned men, in Niamey, Niger, 08 Jan 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Two French hostages have been killed in Niger after being abducted late Friday in Niger's capital.

The French defense ministry says the hostages were killed during a gun battle with their kidnappers along Niger's border with Mali.

In a written statement, Defense Minister Alain Juppe says several of the kidnappers were overpowered in an operation by Niger's national guard that was coordinated with French troops in the region. After the fighting the two hostages were found dead.

He says the kidnappers were then chased across the border into Mali where there was more fighting.

Juppe offered his condolences to the families of the men, who have not been named, and thanked Niger's government for its work to free them.

The men were abducted by four kidnappers with automatic weapons in a popular restaurant in downtown Niamey late Friday. Witnesses say it appears the kidnappers knew who they were looking for and forced the men into a four-by-four vehicle.

A spokesman for Niger's military government says security forces observed the vehicle before dawn Saturday about 100 kilometers from the Mali border but did not open fire for fear of injuring the hostages.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Saturday again advised French citizens to stay out of the region until security improves.

Five French nationals along with two engineers from Togo and Madagascar were abducted from the site of a huge French uranium mine in Niger in September. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for that abduction and says it intends to stop what it calls the French exploitation of natural resources in the Sahel.

Last July, the al-Qaida affiliated group executed a French hostage who was kidnapped in Niger after French and Mauritanian troops killed six suspected terrorists during an unsuccessful rescue attempt.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's kidnapping in Niamey. Security forces in Niger say they are still investigating the identity of the abductors.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid