TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

French commando killed in Somalia raid

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 7:44 p.m.
 

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A raid to free a French intelligence agent held captive in Somalia for three years went horribly wrong, leaving 17 Islamists and at least one French commando dead in a mud-caked farming town deep in militant territory.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Paris that the hostage, codenamed Denis Allex, was believed to have died and a second soldier was missing.

But the Islamists denied claims that he was killed and said they had a new prisoner — a wounded French soldier.

French officials said the operation in Somalia was unrelated to the military intervention in Mali.

France is “engaged in a merciless fight against terrorism wherever it is found,” Le Drian said.

Allex was captured in Somalia on July 14, 2009 — Bastille Day — and last seen in a video released in October pleading for the French president to help him.

The French government said the decision for the rescue mission had been taken because there had been no progress in three years of attempted negotiations to secure his release.

Residents in the southern town of Bulo Marer, about 70 miles south of Mogadishu, described a noisy scene of explosions and gunfire during the raid. The attack was swift and loud, they said.

“We heard a series of explosions followed by gunfire just seconds after a helicopter flew over the town,” said Mohamed Ali. “The place was an al-Shabaab base and checkpoint.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Warhol’s ‘One Dollar’ brings in the big bucks
  2. Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly finished
  3. Saudi prince will donate all wealth, $32B worth
  4. Egyptian security outposts attacked
  5. Famine nears in Yemen; deadly blasts continue
  6. Fate of Greece remains in peoples’ hands with referendum still on
  7. Iran shrugs off deadline for nuclear talks
  8. China’s new national security law covers everything from space to cults
  9. Militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, kill 53
  10. Indonesia plane crash death toll 141 as search effort ends
  11. Indonesia military transport plane crashes in Medan; more than 70 dead