Two Spanish journalists, and an Irish ranger killed in Burkina Faso raid

Three Europeans among four missing in Burkina Faso raid

Charles Nwoke, Fada N’Gourma-Pama, Burkina Faso.

April 28, 2021

Image courtesy of local sources, fair use. 

Local report

Four persons, including three Westerners and a Burkinabe, were missing after an anti-poaching patrol was ambushed in the Eastern part of Burkina Faso on Monday, said security and local sources.

The team consists of military officers, forest rangers, and foreign journalists — was targeted in the Fada N’Gourma-Pama axis, according to a local official.

He added that “the provisional toll reports three people injured, four missing.”

The attack was also confirmed by security sources, with one saying the Europeans included “two Spaniards and an Irishman, all of whom were working on behalf of an NGO protecting the environment.”

“According to survivors, two of the foreigners were wounded during the attack. The search is ongoing” to find the four missing people, added the source.

The attackers used two pick-up vehicles and a dozen motorcycles, according to security sources.

Burkina Faso, an impoverished, landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, has been battling an Islamist terrorist for years.

The nation has endured constant attacks, sometimes intertwined with communal clashes, since jihadists from neighboring Mali launched attacks in 2015.

In headlines

The western press picked up the news of Europeans taken in the Burkina Faso raid. The BBC reported that two Spanish journalists and one Irish ranger were captured in the raids in Burkina Faso. The New York Times reported that the three Europeans were killed in the raid. They were filming a documentary about anti-poaching efforts. 

In addition to BBC and The New York Times coverage, the story received attention from Reuters, El Pais English, and PBS. PBS identified the wildlife preservationist as Rory Young, director of Chengeta Wildlife Foundation, and the Spanish journalists as David Beriain (44) and Roberto Fraile, (47), who were both from northern Spain. The reporters were working alongside Young on the documentary that addressed the issues of poaching in a wildlife conservation park along the border of Benin.