France Thinks Hostage Dead After Botched Somali Raid

But his captors dispute the claim
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2013 11:43 AM CST
A frame grab of the hostage identified as Denis Allex, from last year.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – French commandos launched a raid in Somalia today to free a hostage held since 2009, but it appears to have ended disastrously: The French government says the hostage, identified as Denis Allex, was killed during the raid by his al-Shabab captors, reports AP. The militant group, however, claims that Allex is still alive and now being held at a different location. One French soldier was killed in the fighting, along with 17 Islamists. A second French soldier is missing, and al-Shabab says he, too, is now a hostage.

The raid in east Africa comes after French troops intervened in the west African nation of Mali to fight al-Qaeda-linked militants poised to overtake the government. Fighting there intensified today, reports AP. France isn't saying the two developments are related, but the BBC thinks they must be: "The French government knew well the intervention would have dangerous implications for the nine French hostages being held across northern Africa." (Read more Denis Allex stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
8%
6%
63%
4%
14%
5%