PARIS (REUTERS, AP, AFP) - France's foreign ministry confirmed on Saturday that two French journalists were killed in the north Malian town of Kidal after being taken by armed gunmen.
"Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont, journalists at RFI, were found dead in Mali," the ministry said in a statement. "They had been kidnapped by armed gunmen in Kidal."
"The French government, in conjunction with the Malian authorities will make every effort to find out as soon as possible about the circumstances of their death," said the statement
The two were working for French radio station RFI, which confirmed the kidnappings on its website, saying that journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were taken at 1pm by armed men in Kidal and have not been heard from since.
Colonel Mamari Camara, Mali's military chief in the northern city of Kidal, said his men in the field confirmed the two reporters were kidnapped on Saturday.
A Kidal city official says the journalists finished an interview with a Tuareg rebel leader when several armed men grabbed them. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press.
Northern Mali last year was seized by a faction of Al-Qaeda which has used kidnappings of foreigners, especially French citizens, to bankroll its operations.