2 Spanish, 1 Irish national abducted and killed in Burkina Faso ambush

Three Europeans abducted near a nature reserve in eastern Burkina Faso have been killed.

Two Spanish journalists and an Irish national were a part of an anti-poaching patrol that was ambushed by gunmen near Pama Reserve on Monday.

Burkina Faso government officials confirmed their deaths on Tuesday. A local soldier was also abducted, but his status is unknown.

It remains unclear who carried out the attack.

The patrol on Monday included soldiers, forest rangers and foreign reporters.

Two soldiers wounded in the ambush told the Associated Press that the attack had been launched by jihadists who had outnumbered the patrol.

One of the soldiers was shot in the leg and the other in his arm, causing it to be amputated. The soldiers said they had tried to form a protective shield around the foreigners, but realised when the shooting stopped that they had disappeared.

Vehicles and weapons were also seized in the attack.

The Spanish journalists were identified as David Beriain and Roberto Fraile who often report from conflict zones. The Irish victim was identified as Rory Young, co-founder and president of the anti-poaching group Chengeta Wildlife.

The West African country is facing a deepening security crisis, like many of its neighbours, as Islamist armed groups carry out raids and kidnappings across much of the region.

France and other foreign allies have deployed troops to the region but have failed to end the insurgency.

The conflict has displaced nearly three million people.