Two journalists with French radio station RFI have been shot dead by gunmen in Mali.
Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont had just finished interviewing a local official with the MNLA Tuareg separatist group on Saturday morning in Kidal in the north of Mali. They were seized and taken at gunpoint in a 4×4 vehicle. Their bodies, which had been shot several times, were later found outside the town.
Marie Christine Saragosse, CEO of France Médias Monde which owns RFI, said she hoped their deaths wouldn’t stop journalists going into dangerous places.
“With regard to this kind of barbarity, we can’t have a bodyguard for every journalist, so what’s being put into question is giving a voice to those on the ground. Which was our goal here. This is a barbaric killing. What can we do when faced with this kind of barbarity? Stop going to certain places, stop providing information? I want to say no,” she said.
Kidal was the scene of a Tuareg uprising last year that plunged Mali into chaos, leading to a coup and Al Qaeda-linked militants occupying the north of the country.
A French-led military intervention drove them out but the area is still highly unstable with pockets of insurgents.
The French foreign ministry has said it would work with local authorities to establish the circumstances around the deaths.