International News

French kidnapped in Benin: Paris prosecutor’s office opens investigation

The Paris prosecutor announced Monday the opening of a preliminary investigation after the kidnapping and sequestration of two French in Benin, released by the French special forces during an operation in Burkina Faso.

The investigation was opened for the arrest, kidnapping, forcible confinement and arbitrary detention of hostages committed in organized gangs and in connection with a terrorist enterprise, the prosecutor’s office said. The investigations were entrusted to the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) and the Counter-Terrorism Branch (Sdat).

French justice is competent to investigate crimes committed against nationals or French interests abroad.

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Patrick Picque and Laurent Lassimouillas were kidnapped on May 1st during a tourist trip to Benin. They were released in the night from Thursday to Friday along with a South Korean woman and an American woman who had been captive for 28 days during an operation in which two French Special Forces soldiers were killed.

On their arrival in Paris, the two French admitted that they should have taken more account of the opinion of the French diplomatic authorities advising against going to this region because of a strong presence of jihadist groups in the Sahelian band.

READ ALSO: The father of one of the soldiers killed in Burkina Faso: “He had a mission, he accomplished it”

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