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Somali President: No Notice About French Hostage Raid

  • VOA News

Handout image of French secret agent Denis Allex, who was held hostage by al Shabab militants, Somalia, Oct. 4 2012.

Handout image of French secret agent Denis Allex, who was held hostage by al Shabab militants, Somalia, Oct. 4 2012.

Somalia's president says he was not told in advance about the French rescue operation to save a hostage taken by militant group al-Shabab.

In an interview with VOA's Somali Service, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud says Somali officials were not informed about the raid, which failed to free hostage Denis Allex and resulted in the death of two French commandos.

President Mohamud says he believes things would have not happened the way they did had his government been informed. He says "it would have been less trouble," adding that Somali officials "discussed this with France."

Al-Shabab announced on Twitter that it had executed Allex on Wednesday. France had presumed the hostage dead.
Al-Shabab said it was killing Allex to avenge what it claims were civilians killed by French forces during the late Friday raid, as well as to protest what it calls France's anti-Muslim policies and the country's military operations in France and Afghanistan.

Allex was kidnapped from a Mogadishu hotel in July 2009. Before then, he was part of a team helping to train Somali government troops to fight al-Shabab.

He was last seen in a video posted online in October, appealing to French President Francois Hollande for help.
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