The freeing of these hostages proves why there is such a substantial French presence in the Sahel region

Four hostages have been rescued in Burkina Faso, the French presidency said Friday, including two French tourists kidnapped in Benin on May 1 and an American and a South Korean national. Two French soldiers were killed in the rescue operation. "Their liberation was made possible by a military operation led by French forces overnight from Thursday to Friday in northern Burkina Faso," the Élysée Palace said in a statement. The Élysée identified the two special forces soldiers who were killed during the mission. "During the operation two soldiers were killed in action, Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, both petty officers under the command of special operations."