19 Killed in Failed French Raid to Free Somalia Hostage
[An Nahar] Two French soldiers died and 17 "terrorists" were killed in a failed bid to free a French hostage in southern Somalia from Islamists holding him since 2009, the French defense minister said Saturday.
The overnight operation was launched by La Belle France's elite DGSE secret service, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement, adding that the raid was sparked by the "intransigence of the forces of Evil who have refused to negotiate for three and a half years and were holding Denis Allex in inhuman conditions."
| Props to the French for trying, and condolences for the families and mates of the two soldiers.|
But the Shabaab bully boyz denied Le Drian's assertion that they had killed the hostage, a secret agent whose alias is Denis Allex, adding that they would decide his fate in two days and issuing a stern warning to Gay Paree.
Two French soldiers "bit the dust (and) 17 bad boyz were potted" in the battle, Le Drian said, offering the "most sincere condolences" to the dead soldiers' families and praising the men for their "courage and remarkable work".
He said the families of the dead soldiers had been informed.
A Shabaab statement said "in the end, it will be the French citizens who will inevitably taste the bitter consequences of their government's devil-may-care attitude towards hostages."
Sheikh Mohamed Abdallah, a local-Shabaab
... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda...
military commander, told AFP: "Mujahedeen fighters defeated the so-called commandos of the French government who tried to rescue a hostage, and they (the commandos) left the bodies of several of their own at the site of the attack."
Abdallah is the commander of Bulomarer, where the raid allegedly took place.
The Shabaab statement said the French carried away "several" of their dead.
"The helicopters attacked a house ... upon the assumption that Denis Allex was being held at that location, but owing to a fatal intelligence blunder, the rescue mission turned disastrously wrong.
"Several French soldiers were killed in the battle and many more were maimed before they fled from the scene of battle, leaving behind some military paraphernalia and even one of their comrades on the ground.
"The injured French soldier is now in the custody of the mujahedeen and Allex still remains safe and far from the location of the battle."
A Bulomarer resident, Idris Youssouf, told AFP: "We don't know exactly what happened because the attack took place at night, but this morning we saw several corpses including that of a white man.
"Three civilians were also killed in the shootout," he said.
The French secret agent was kidnapped in Somalia in July 2009 along with a colleague who was freed the following month.
Four military helicopters were used in the raid in Shabaab-controlled Bulomarer, some 110 kilometers (70 miles) south of the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses said.
The Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab lost their main strongholds in the south and center of the country following an offensive launched in mid-2011 by an African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
force, but they still control some rural areas.
Allex is among nine kidnapped Frenchies in Africa of whom at least six are held by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
He appeared in a video in June 2010 appealing to Gay Paree to drop its support for the hapless Somali government.
He last appeared in another video in October looking gaunt and calling on French President Francois Hollande
...the Socialist president of La Belle France, and a fine job he's doing of it...
to work for his release.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991. However,
alcohol has never solved anybody's problems. But then, neither has milk...
a new administration took office last year, ending eight years of transitional rule by a corruption-riddled government.
Posted by: Fred