French hostages drama highlights jihadist expansion into Burkina Faso

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Two French tourists who were taken hostage earlier this month while exploring the Pendjari national park in Benin, when their guide was murdered, arrived back in France on Saturday. They were freed from a location in nearby Burkina Faso by a special forces operation on Friday, during which two French marines lost their lives. The dramatic events have highlighted how jihadist groups have recently begun seizing control of swathes of this region of West Africa, taking advantage of a growing resentment among sections of the population against state authorities. Rémi Carayol reports.

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Laurent Lassimouillas and Patrick Picque, the two French tourists who were kidnapped on May 1st while exploring the Pendjari national park in northern Benin, arrived back in France early Saturday evening after they and two women hostages, an American and South Korean, were freed by French special forces on Friday.