An Irish conservation worker is among a group of foreigners who were abducted and have been reportedly killed in Burkina Faso.
The Irish national, two Spanish citizens and a Burkinabe soldier went missing after being attacked by gunmen during an anti-poaching patrol, the government said on Tuesday.
A special military wildlife unit was ambushed on Monday morning while travelling with the foreigners, 15 kilometres from their base at the eastern town of Natiaboni.
Yendifimba Jean-Claude Louari, the mayor of Fada N’gourma, said that a large operation is under way to locate them.
It is understood that security and government officials said that two military lorries and 12 motorcycles and guns were also stolen during the attack on Monday.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: “The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to closely follow unfolding developments in Burkina Faso.
“The situation is complex and officials are working with relevant actors on the ground, including Spanish and EU colleagues, to ensure that the full facts are established and followed up on as a matter of urgency.
“The Department has been in contact with the family of the Irish citizen and is providing all possible consular support.
“As with all consular cases, it would be not appropriate to comment on specific details of the case at this time.”