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EURONEWS, AFP, LE MONDE (France)

Worldcrunch

MOGADISHU - Somali Islamist militants announced on Wednesday that they had decided to execute a French hostage they have been holding since 2009, reports the AFP.

French DGSE secret-service commandos launched a raid last Saturday in an bid to rescue French intelligence agent Denis Allex, but the attempt failed, resulting in the death of two French soldiers. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that 17 militants were killed in the raid.

The Islamist militant group Al-Shabab has ties to Al-Qaeda.

“With the rescue attempt, France has voluntarily signed Denis Allex’s death warrant,” the Islamist militants announced on Twitter, according to Euronews.

PRESS RELEASE:Dennis Allex: an Agent Betrayed.Bulo-Marer (16/01/2013).In the Name of Allah, the Most (cont) tl.gd/knkqp9

— HSM Press Office (@HSMPress) January 16, 2013

A senior Al-Shabab official told the AFP on Wednesday that Allex "has been sentenced and this judgment will not be changed. As far as we are concerned this man should die."

French authorities believe their agent was most likely killed during the raid. The Al-Shabab did not release any proof that Allex was still alive after the raid.

France’s military chief of staff, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, qualified the Shebab's statement on Twitter as a “a manipulation of the media,” reports Le Monde.

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Three Dead In Ukraine's First-Ever Attack On Russian Air Bases

Engels-2 airbase in Russia

Alex Hurst, Anna Akage, and Emma Albright

Updated 11:45 p.m.

Separate explosions Monday morning at two different Russian air bases, which have killed at least three and injured eight, have demonstrated that Ukraine has the capacity to use drones to attack targets deep inside Russia.

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Russian state media reports that a fuel tanker exploded early Monday in an airfield near the city of Ryanza, southeast of Moscow, killing three and injuring six people. Another two people are reported to have been injured in another morning explosion at the Engles-2 airbase in the Saratov region, farther to the southeast.

Later Monday, both Russian and Ukrainian government sources confirmed that the attack was carried out by Ukraine, a major escalation in Kyiv's war effort.

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