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France to declassify footage, photos of botched hostage rescue in Niger

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-01-21

French Defence Minister Alain Juppe made the decision Friday to declassify photos and video footage taken during the botched military intervention in Niger earlier this month which ended with the deaths of two Frenchmen taken hostage by militants.

AP - French Defense Minister Alain Juppe will declassify photographs and video footage taken during a failed attempt by French forces to rescue two hostages earlier this month in Niger.

A ministry official told The Associated Press on Friday that Juppe decided to declassify the documents after a favorable ruling by a government body on secrecy and national defense Thursday.

The two men were kidnapped from a restaurant in Niger’s capital Jan. 7. Their bodies were found a day later at the Niger-Mali border after a skirmish involving forces from France and Niger.

The Paris prosecutor’s office requested the declassification as part of its investigation into the deaths.

The al-Qaida offshoot in North Africa says one hostage died as a result of fire from French military aircraft. The militants say they killed the second Frenchman.

 

Date created : 2011-01-21

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