Two French journalists working for RFI radio are killed by gunmen in northern Mali Saturday shortly after being abducted in the town of Kidal.

58-year old Claude Verlon and 51-year-old Ghislaine Dupont were found dead.

Kidal is the birthplace of a Tuareg uprising last year that plunged Mali into chaos. The uprsing led to a coup and the occupation of the northern half of the country by militants linked to al Qaeda.

The journalists were seized after they interviewed a local official with the Tuareg separatist group.

The Malian government released a statement condemning the killings.

A French-led military intervention drove out the militants but there are still pockets of insurgents.

France still has about 3,000 soldiers in the country, alongside troops from Mali and a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

France's defense ministry said that the French army had warned the reporters not to travel to Kidal on Oct. 29 and refused to take them to the town.