Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Africa

Second French soldier dead in botched raid in Somalia

© AFP file photo

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-14

A French soldier missing in action since Saturday’s failed commando raid to free hostage Denis Allex (pictured) in Somalia died from his injuries, an al Shabaab spokesman said on Monday. The rebel group also claims that Allex is still alive.

A second French soldier has died from gunshot wounds after an attempt to rescue a French agent failed during the weekend, Somalia’s al Shabaab rebel group said on Monday.

The al Qaeda-linked militants put up fierce resistance when French forces went into southern Somalia by helicopter under the cover of darkness on Saturday to try to free Denis Allex, held hostage since 2009.

The outcome of the mission was unclear. French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday the operation had failed despite the “sacrifice” of two soldiers and “no doubt the assassination of our hostage.”

However, earlier that day France’s defence ministry said one of the two Frenchmen was missing in action, stoking speculation that the soldier had been captured alive.

A ministry source said on Monday the government believed both commandos were dead, but it did not have the bodies.

“The second commando died from his bullet wounds. We shall display the bodies of the two Frenchmen,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for al Shabaab’s military operations, told Reuters by telephone.

Musab said Allex was alive and his fate would be decided later.

Allex was one of two officers from France’s DGCE intelligence agency kidnapped by al Shabaab three-and-a-half years ago in the capital Mogadishu. His colleague Marc Aubriere escaped a month later but Allex had been held ever since in what Paris called “inhumane conditions”.

A video of a gaunt-looking Allex pleading with Hollande to negotiate his release and save his life appeared on a website in October used by Islamist militant groups around the world. Reuters could not verify its authenticity.

“Allex is alive and healthy,” Musab said.

BLOG: Al Shabaab Media
After Allex’s abduction, al Shabaab issued a series of demands including an end to French support for the Somali government and a withdrawal of the 17,600-strong African peacekeeping force propping up the U.N.-backed administration.

Under pressure from the African troops and Somali government forces, the rebels have lost many of their urban strongholds, including Mogadishu, though they still wield influence in rural areas across southern and central Somalia.

Al Shabaab wants to impose their strict version of sharia, or Islamic law, across the Horn of Africa state.

The raid to free Allex coincided with the launch of French air strikes on al Qaeda-affiliated rebels in Mali in West Africa. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, however, that the two military operations were unconnected.

 

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-01-14

  • FRANCE-SOMALIA

    French soldier killed in failed Somalia hostage rescue

    Read more

  • SOMALIA

    French spy held captive in Somalia pleads for release

    Read more

  • SOMALIA - KENYA

    Al Shabaab rebels retreat from key Somali stronghold

    Read more

COMMENT(S)