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Plane carrying bodies of Europeans killed in Burkina Faso lands in Spain

Rory Young, who was born in Zambia and co-founder and president of the Chengeta Wildlife, was named as one of the deceased by the charity 
Sam Mednick and Aritz Parra, Associated Press

A plane carrying the bodies of three Europeans including an Irishman killed by jihadists in Burkina Faso this week while they were filming a documentary on wildlife poaching has landed in an airport near the Spanish capital.

The bodies were flown overnight from the capital of the African nation, Ouagadougou, on an Airbus provided by the Spanish military.

Two Spanish journalists, David Beriain, 44, and Roberto Fraile, 47, and an Irish conservationist, Rory Young, were killed on Monday when the anti-poaching patrol they were on with a special military wildlife force was ambushed by jihadists in eastern Burkina Faso.

One Burkinabe soldier is still missing and six others are wounded.

The journalists were making a documentary on how Burkina Faso’s authorities are tackling poaching, also focusing on the communities of people living in the park.

Mr Young, the director of the Chengeta Wildlife Foundation, was leading the patrol in the country’s Arly National Park, said a statement by the group on Facebook.

Two soldiers wounded in the attack said they tried to protect the foreigners during fighting that lasted three hours, but were outnumbered by the jihadists.

The soldiers insisted on anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Burkina Faso has been overrun by attacks linked to Islamic extremists that have killed thousands and displaced more than one million people.

Spanish officials and relatives of the Spanish journalists were awaiting the coffins at a military airport on the outskirts of Madrid.

An honour guard of two dozen soldiers was expected to carry the coffins.

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