JOS, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian soldiers fired into the air to disperse youths burning tyres in the central city of Jos on Saturday in protest at the reported killing of eight Muslims in a nearby village, residents said. The Muslims were on their way to a wedding when they were attacked late on Friday after their bus got lost in a predominantly Christian village which was at the centre of ethnic and religious clashes last year, witnesses said. Since my team couldnt find the eight people, weve come to the conclusion they were killed, knowing the circumstances, Plateau state police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano said. The occupants inside the vehicle were all people dressed in Muslim attire, he said. Muslim youths set up burning barricades in parts of the Kwararasa neighbourhood of Jos when news of the attack on the bus spread, but a military taskforce which has been policing the city since last years unrest was able to disperse them. Meanwhile, two Frenchmen kidnapped overnight in Niger have been killed, a French television station reported on Saturday. Earlier, Nigers government said on Saturday it was confident two Frenchmen kidnapped overnight would be released as they had located and surrounded the group near the border with Mali. Government spokesman Mahaman Laoualy Dan Dah said: We are optimistic as the location of the kidnappers is known, adding they were not far from Mangaize, near the border with Mali. Our forces have moved towards their position, they have surrounded the position. It was not immediately clear if groups linked to Al-Qaeda were involved in the kidnapping. Sarkozy, speaking during a visit to the French overseas island territory of Martinique, told reporters: This morning there was a confrontation between the terrorists and the Niger National Guard. Its chief was injured. The Niger guard are still chasing the terrorists who are heading to Mali. The clash took place around Ouallam, near the border with Mali about 160 km (100 miles) northwest of Niamey. The kidnappers are in one vehicle and they are being pursued by reinforcements from Niamey, a Nigerien security source said earlier on Saturday.