News / Europe

Somali Rebels to Announce Fate of French Hostage

VOA News
Somali rebel group al-Shabab says it has reached a decision on the fate of French hostage Dennis Allex, who French forces tried to free in an unsuccessful operation.
 
In a statement Monday, the group said it has reached a "unanimous verdict" on Allex's fate, and that details on the decision will be published in the "coming hours."
 
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says one French soldier was killed in the rescue attempt late Friday and another is missing and presumed dead.  He also said officials believe Allex has already been killed by his captors.
 
"As concerns Somalia, I confirm what I have already said: everything leads us to believe that the hostage has been murdered and that the other soldier who is missing has been killed," he said.  "Everything leads us to believe, unfortunately, that the Shabab are about to organize a macabre and obscene show," he said. 
 
Al-Shabab has posted photos of what appeared to be the body of a French soldier to its Twitter account, as well as a photo of captured French weapons. 
 
Seventeen Somali fighters were killed during Friday's raid.  But analyst Roland Marchal with France’s National Center for Scientific Reach tells VOA the French troops were not expecting the level of resistance they met on the ground.
 
"The picture you get is that the Shabab was very armed and on foot was [a] major strength, and the French troops were not expecting that amount of people - well-armed, well-equipped, and ready to fight up to death.  So that is the main miscalculation on that," he said. 
 
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States provided "limited technical support" to the operation.
 
In a letter to congressional leaders released Sunday by the White House, Obama says U.S. combat planes briefly entered Somali airspace, but U.S. forces and aircraft took no direct part in the raid.
 
Militants kidnapped Allex from his Mogadishu hotel in July, 2009.  Another Frenchman was also captured.  He either escaped or was set free one month later.  The two were in Somalia to train government troops fighting al-Shabab.
 
Allex was last seen in a videotape in October. 

You May Like

Nearly 900 Dead, Missing in 2014 Air Disasters

Southeast Asia took a particularly heavy hit; 3 major events involved weather, two planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine, and one crash was attributed to mechanical problems More

Video Islamic State Emergence Transformed Syria, Iraq in 2014

'It was very clear that there were problems building up in Iraq at the end of 2013 but everybody was distracted by Syria,' says one expert, explaining group's rapid rise More

Rights Group: IS Executed Nearly 2,000 in Syria in 6 Months

Islamist group also killed 120 of its own members, most foreign fighters trying to return home, in past two months, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 14, 2013 12:11 PM
A very sad episode for those that lost family members, at the hands of the terrorists. All civilized people feel the pain when people are assasinated by murdering terrorists; these terrorists have also murdered massive numbers of their own co-citizens.

Rescues of hostages are always very difficult operations, especially when done over such far distances, from the nation carrying out the operation.
I can't understand the callousness of the French government in announcing the operation, in identifying the hostage, in identifying the hostage's occupation, and even to identify themselves as the nation that carried out the failed raid. The resons for maintainig full secrecy is/relates to the potential for "BLOW BACK ", and injury to the hostages if the operation fails. Given that they did not have the body of the victimes, it can't be ruled out that the hostage/soldier were in fact alive.

I think the release of information was an appalling act. Such rescue operations should be carried in outmost secrecy, from start to finish, including no identyfiers... and the information not released for at lest 10 yrs. Granstanding politicians are extremely detrimental to these operations and to future operations. Grandstanding is wrong, even when the operation is successful. If politicians want to demostrate they are tough, then should actually participate in the mission if they are mentally and physically capable to do so.
From what the few facts the media has indicated, one can conclude that the operation was extremly risky, and had a small chance to succeed. I hope the French do an in depth analysis, and better handle such incidents in the future.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaisei
X
Daniel Schearf
December 25, 2014 4:34 PM
Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video 2014 Saw Intensification of Boko Haram Insurgency

The year 2014 saw Nigerian militant sect Boko Haram intensify its five-year insurgency and target civilians in large numbers as it seized territory in the northeast. The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok in April sparked global outrage, but failed to become the turning point against the sect that Nigeria’s president said it would be. The picture at year's end is one of devastation and uncertainty. VOA’s Anne Look reports.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Fight to Survive Water Crisis

In a region choking from dwindling water supplies, Lebanon has long been regarded as one of the few places where there is enough. But in recent years, half the people in the country have faced severe shortages. And the more than 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are hit the worst by the water crisis, making the country's most vulnerable people increasingly impoverished and sick. Heather Murdock reports for VOA in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid