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France honors soldiers killed freeing hostages in Africa

Cedric de Pierrepont, left, and Alain Bertoncello were killed in a military operation in the West African nation of Burkina Faso on Friday.

FRENCH ARMY VIA AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 14, 2019

PARIS — France is honoring two special forces officers killed in an operation that freed four hostages held in Burkina Faso.

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. French President Emmanuel Macron is overseeing the national homage at the gold-domed Invalides monument that houses Napoleon's tomb.

The two Marine commandos, Cedric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, were killed Friday in an operation that also left four extremists dead. They were serving in France's Barkhane Operation, which has been working to root out Islamic militants roaming the Sahel region.

The operation liberated two French tourists, an American and a South Korean.
 

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