Two Spanish journalists and an Irish national were killed near a nature reserve in eastern Burkina Faso.
The Europeans were part of an anti-poaching patrol that was ambushed by gunmen near the Bama Reserve on Monday.
Burkina Faso government officials confirmed their deaths on Tuesday. A local soldier was also kidnapped, but his status is unknown.
It was not clear who carried out the attack.
Like many of its neighbors, the West African country faces a deep security crisis, with Islamist armed groups conducting raids and kidnappings in much of the region.
What do we know about the attack?
On Monday, the patrol included soldiers, forest rangers and foreign journalists.
Two soldiers wounded in the ambush told the Associated Press that the attack was carried out by jihadists, who outnumbered the patrol.
One of the soldiers was injured in the leg and the other in the arm, causing it to be amputated, according to the Associated Press. The soldiers said they tried to form a shield around the aliens, but realized when the shooting stopped that they were gone.
Mechanisms and weapons were also seized in the attack.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Lya told reporters on Tuesday that the bodies found in the area appeared to be those of two Spanish journalists who were filming a documentary.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez later tweeted: “The worst news has been confirmed.”
He named the journalists David Perryn and Roberto Fryley, and praised “those who, like them, practice courageous and essential journalism from conflict zones.”
Mr. Berein was a seasoned journalist who reported from around the world and founded his own production company, while Mr. Freel covered many conflicts as a photographer, including the war in Syria.
Burkina Faso officials confirmed on Tuesday that they had died and that an Irish national had been killed.
The Irish victim is named after Rory Young, co-founder and president of Chengeta Wildlife’s anti-poaching group. The organization described him as an “inspiring leader”.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said in a statement that he learned with “deep dismay” of Young’s death, and offered his condolences to the families of the three victims.
“The minister condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of those responsible for this attack. We will continue to coordinate with the authorities and partners on the ground in this regard,” the statement said.
A senior security source told AFP that the three Europeans “were executed by terrorists.”
The Secretary-General of “Reporters Without Borders” responded to the news on Twitter, saying: “This tragedy confirms the great dangers that journalists face” in the Sahel region, Africa.
It was not immediately clear what happened to the local soldier who was kidnapped.
What is the background?
The kidnappings are the most recent in the former French colony where wildlife sanctuaries were popular with tourists.
But many of them are in areas that are now being targeted by jihadists.
Reuters reported that Islamist militant groups are believed to be holding several foreigners hostage in Burkina Faso as well as in the neighboring Mali and Niger states.
The semi-arid region, known as the Sahel, has experienced a rebellion since the militants took over large parts of northern Mali in 2012 and 2013.
France and other foreign allies deployed forces to the region but failed to end the revolt.
The conflict has displaced nearly three million people.