Bodies of slain Spanish journalists, Irish activist, repatriated to Madrid

Madrid, Apr 30 (EFE).- A Spanish Armed Forces airplane carrying the bodies of two Spanish journalists and an Irish conservationist who were killed in an ambush in Burkina Faso this week landed at an airbase just outside Madrid on Friday morning.

The Spanish journalists David Beriain and Roberto Fraile were in the country filming a documentary on poaching in the Sahel region, while Rory Young was accompanying them as the co-founder of anti-poaching organization Chengeta Wildlife.

Burkinabe officials have said the attack was carried out by unidentified “terrorists” on Monday. Their bodies were discovered the following day.

The Spanish victims’ relatives were at the airbase in Torrejon, along with the Spanish ministers for foreign affairs and defense, Arancha Gonzalez Laya and Margarita Robles.

The Irish ambassador in Spain, Sile Maguire, and the secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, Alfonso Bauluz, were also on the tarmac for a military honor guard for the victims.

At the ceremony, the ministers announced the Spanish government would be awarding the Medal of Civil Merit to the two journalists.

Gonzalez Laya and Robles insisted that the fight against terrorism in the Sahel would be “relentless” and that they will work with the authorities in Burkina Faso and other European partners to identify those responsible for the ambush.

The President of Agencia Efe, Gabriela Canas, also paid tribute to the fallen reporters, laying a commemorative wreath at the ceremony reaffirming the agency’s commitment to “freedom of the press” and its support of all professional journalists. EFE


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