Two Spanish journalists and an Irish man were killed by “terrorists” in Burkina Faso, officials said yesterday, after an anti-poaching patrol was attacked in the West African nation.
“It is very unfortunate, but the three Westerners were executed by terrorists,” said a senior security source in Burkina Faso.
He did not specify who was behind the attack targeting the group — which included soldiers, forest rangers and foreign reporters — in the eastern region of Fada N’Gourma-Pama on Monday.
At least three people were injured and one Burkinabe was believed to be among the missing.
The attackers used two pick-up vehicles and a dozen motorbikes, according to security sources.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed that two Spaniards were killed in the attack, naming the two victims.
“The worst news is confirmed. All our affection for the relatives and friends of David Beriain and Roberto Fraile (de Baracaldo), who were murdered in Burkina Faso,” he tweeted.
He praised “those who, like them, carry out courageous and essential journalism from conflict zones”.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told a news conference that the two men were “making a documentary on the measures taken by Burkina Faso to protect national parks, to protect natural resources from poaching and to protect the populations living in the natural parks.”
She said Beriain was from Pamplona in the north while Fraile was from the northern Basque country.
Beriain was a war reporter who worked for a now defunct Spanish branch of CNN and had founded his own production house specialising in documentaries on illegal activities.
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