French Hostage Killed in Somalia

Allex in June 2010. (AP)

In this undated image from a video posted on islamic militant websites and made available Wednesday June 9 2010 a man identified as French security agent Denis Allex pleads for his release from the Somali militant group al-Shabaab who have been holding him for nearly a year. He speaks in two scenes in the video, the first of which repeats the demands made by the Shabaab in September 2009, which include that France cease support to the Somalia government, that security companies leave Somalia, and mujahid prisoners be released. The second message is addressed to the people of France, asking for their support to secure his freedom. (AP Photo) ** Image from internet video. The AP has no way of ascertaining the authenticity date or location of the images **

Denis Allex, a French intelligence officer who had been held hostage in Somalia since 2009, was killed in a rescue attempt gone awry, the French Defense Ministry said Saturday. The intelligence agency’s team had attempted an overnight helicopter mission to retriever Allex, but we met with “violent combat” instead. The incident falls on the same day French President Francois Hollande ordered air strikes against Islami militants in Mali—two missions which are reportedly unrelated. The Defense Ministry said Allex and at least one other soldier were killed in the fighting and another gone missing. The insurgents claim Allex is alive and being held in Somalia.