Two Spanish journalists who were kidnapped on Monday in Burkina Faso are feared dead, with the government awaiting final confirmation according to Spain”s foreign minister.
Arancha González Laya told journalists although the information coming out of the country in West Africa was “confusing”, everything indicated two bodies found in the area were those of the missing journalists.
They were in the Pama area of the country, making a documentary on poaching in the region, alongside an Irish citizen, González Laya said.
The Irish foreign ministry told Euronews: “The Department is aware of the reports and is liaising closely with international partners regarding the situation on the ground.”
According to González Laya, the area is a dangerous one, where terrorist groups, poachers, bandits and jihadists operate.
The journalists were embedded in a patrol of some 40 Burkinabe anti-poaching troops, which was attacked by armed individuals.
Attacks by jihadist groups including the Islamic State have killed thousands and displaced more than one million people in the country.
“Foreign nationals are a preferable target to be used as bargaining chips in exchange for ransom,” said Heni Nsaibia, an analyst with the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
Since the early 2000s militant groups have developed a kidnapping industry in the Sahel, five foreign hostages are still missing, including two taken from Burkina Faso, he said.