French special forces rescued four hostages during a daring night-time raid on a terrorist camp in Burkina Faso in which two French commandos died in the assault, during which four terrorists were also killed.
The rescued hostages included two French citizens, Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas, who had disappeared on May 1 while on safari in the tiny neighbouring West African nation of Benin.
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.
Laurent Lassimouillas (L) and Patrick Picque posing at an undisclosed location
Freed hostages Laurent Lassimouillas (L) and Patrick Picque posing at an undisclosed location before their capture after going out with their local guide, Fiacre Gbedji, they had been due back at the lodge where they were staying by evening, but never returned.
Three days later the badly-disfigured body of their guide was discovered in the park, riddled with bullets.
In the raid two other hostages, an American and a South Korean, both women, were also found.
They had been held for 28 days but their governments were unaware that they had been kidnapped. Their names were not immediately released.