13 January 2013

Somalia Governor Tells RFI He Knew of French Hostage Rescue Attempt

An attempt by French forces early on Saturday morning to free an intelligence agent in Somalia early on Saturday morning come to a bloody end. The agent, and a number of civilians, have been killed.

According to Abdulkadir Mohamed Siidi, the governer of Lower Shabelle region where the attack took place, Four French helicopters conducted an air raid on a house in the town of Bulomarer. In an exclusive interview with RFI , he explained how the attack was conducted .

"The attack happened almost 2 oclock in the morning and it was carried out by French commandos who wanted to release a French hostage who was held by the terrorists for the last three years"

The governer also added that his adminstration was well aware of the attack .

"We knew about the attack, French forces always used to contact us about the whereabouts of that agent held by the terrorists and last night did so. Almost 27 al-Shebab fighters were killed in the attack and two family members of the fighters were caught in the crossfire during the operation"

The French military failed in its attempt to free the hostage from the Islamic militants' base.

Denis Allex, a French intelligence agent, was held hostage in Somalia for more than three years.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

In October, Alex appeared in a video shot by his kidnappers, in which he called on French President Francois Hollande to negotiate his freedom.

The French government said, during the assault, violent combat took place and Denis Alex was killed by his captors but a statement published on a website affiliated with al-Shebab claims that Denis Alex is alive and well and still in their hands.

The group said in the statement that it would decide Alex's fate in two days time through Islamic Sharia law.

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