Macron pays tribute to commandos killed in hostage rescue

Macron pays tribute to commandos killed in hostage rescue

The French public was invited to line the Alexander III Bridge in central Paris as the funeral cortege passed slowly for Wednesday's elaborate ceremony.

"The mission was perilous". French hostages "were under threat".

Trump said the United States "worked with them on intelligence", without giving further details.

He shook hands with members of the special forces who attended the ceremony with scarves over their faces to hide their identities.

France's military has freed four hostages who were being held in Burkina Faso.

A total of 26 French soldiers have died in the deployment including de Pierrepont and Bertoncello. They were serving in France's Barkhane Operation, which has been working to root out Islamic militants roaming the Sahel region. But as it announced that success, the navy also said it's mourning two special forces soldiers who died in the overnight rescue operation. Macron vowed that France "will continue to fight tirelessly against terrorism" in the Sahel, the Syrian region and on French soil.

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President Donald Trump said Monday that French special forces had done a "great job" in freeing a group of kidnapped tourists in Burkina Faso last week, including an American woman. Macron paid his respects to the French tourists' local guide, who was killed by the hostage-takers.

The men were snatched by an armed group while visiting the Pendjari National Park in Benin, which borders increasingly unstable Burkina Faso.

A freed South Korean hostage (center) and French President Emmanuel Macron (right) walk on the tarmac at a military airport west of Paris on Saturday.

Macron justified the operation in his speech honouring the slain officers Tuesday, saying that the kidnappers were planning to hand over the hostages to "terrorists" in Mali within a few hours.

France's special forces units were in attendance for their fallen brothers in arms on Tuesday, prompting warnings to broadcasters not to show any faces that could jeopardise their safety.

"Those who attack French citizens should know that our country will never give way and that they will always encounter our army, our elite troops and our allies", he added.

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