News / Europe

Somali Rebels to Announce Fate of French Hostage

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid