|Slain French journalists Ghislaine Dupont, left, |
and Claude Verlon, right
The deaths come four days after France rejoiced at the release of four of its citizens who had been held for three years by al Qaeda's affiliate in North Africa.
It was not immediately clear who had slain the French journalists. France launched a military intervention in January in its former colony to try and oust jihadists from power in Kidal and other towns across northern Mali. Separatist rebels have since returned to the area.
French President Francois Hollande expressed his "indignation at this odious act."
Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont were grabbed by several armed men in a 4x4 after they finished an interview, officials said.