An American citizen is among a group of four hostages who have been freed in western Africa following a French special forces military operation that resulted in the deaths of two of their own soldiers, the Elysee announced Friday.
France said the hostages were rescued Thursday night following a battle in Burkina Faso.
The statement from France said President Emmanuel Macron “bows with emotion and gravity at the sacrifice of our two soldiers, who gave their lives to save those of our fellow citizens”.
They were identified as petty officers Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello. A Facebook post by the French Navy added that both men received numerous awards and recognitions throughout their military careers, such as the Gold Level of the National Defense Medal.