The three European tourists missing since Monday in Burkina Faso were executed by terrorists, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Three Europeans who disappeared after an attack on Monday in eastern Burkina Faso , two Spaniards and an Irishman, “were executed by terrorists,” a senior Burkinabè security official told AFP on Tuesday, Madrid confirming the death of the two Spaniards.

“It is very unfortunate, but the three Westerners were executed by the terrorists,” said the official. “The people in images released by armed groups have been identified as the three Westerners who were missing since yesterday” Tuesday, he added.

In Madrid, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed the death of the two Spaniards. “The worst news has been confirmed. All our affection for the families and relatives of David Beriain and Roberto Fraile, murdered in Burkina Faso,” he wrote on his Twitter account, expressing his “gratitude to those who, like them, daily practice courageous and essential journalism from conflict zones “.

In Dublin, the Foreign Ministry said it was “aware” of the disappearance of an Irish national, refusing, however, “to comment on the details of a particular case”.

The two Spaniards and the Irishman killed were “journalist-trainers working on behalf of an NGO which works for the protection of the environment”, according to a Burkinabè security source

In Paris, Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) , said on Twitter that “three journalists (including two Spaniards) who were investigating poaching were killed during an attack in the east of the country. tragedy confirms the great dangers that reporters face in the Sahel “.

On Monday, an anti-poaching patrol made up of Burkinabè soldiers and forest guards, accompanied by Western trainers and journalists, was attacked on the Fada N’Gourma-Pama axis in eastern Burkina Faso.A Burkinabé remains missing after this attack which also left three wounded, but according to a security source from eastern Burkina, “he is an element of” the security services “who knows the area of ​​the classified forest quite well. Pama, near Natiaboani, where the attack took place “.

The attack was carried out by armed men traveling in two pick-up vehicles and a dozen motorcycles , according to security sources who specified that weapons and equipment, motorcycles, two pick-ups and a drone, had been taken away by the attackers. Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger in the grip of jihadist attacks, has also been a regular victim since 2015.