EURONEWS, AFP, LE MONDE (France)
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.