03-20-2018  10:11 pm      •     
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From Katarina Höije for CNN

Ghislaine Dupont

Claude Verlon

BAMAKO, Mali (CNN) -- At least 30 suspects have been arrested in the killing of two French journalists in northern Mali, officials said.

The suspects were arrested in desert camps near Kidal town and taken to the local French army base for questioning, three officials said. The officials did not want to be named because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

The journalists, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, worked for Radio France International.

They were kidnapped Saturday while interviewing a Tuareg rebel near Kidal, and they were found dead the same day. Their bodies arrived in Paris on Tuesday.

Kidal was one of the strongholds of the Islamic militant Tuareg uprising last year that plunged Mali into chaos after a military-led coup. Following the coup, Tuareg rebels occupied the northern half of the country.

As part of France's intervention this year to flush out militants in Mali, the French military secured the area around Kidal.

The two reporters were abducted in front of the home of a member of the Tuareg rebels' National Movement of a Liberation of Azawad, RFI reported.

French President Francois Hollande called an emergency meeting with ministers Sunday after the killings.

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