Two French soldiers and 18 al-Shabab Somali fighters were killed during an unsuccessful hostage rescue mission according to a statement by the French Defense Ministry.
The French Defense Ministry initiated the mission to rescue French national Denis Allex who was being held in what were reportedly inhumane conditions. The statement from the Defense Ministry reads as follows:
Faced with the intransigence of the terrorists, who refused to negotiate for three and a half years and who were holding Denis Allex in inhumane conditions, an operation was planned and carried out. … During the assault, violent combat took place. Denis Allex was killed by his captors.
A statement by al-Shabab’s Sheikh Mohamed Abdallah, commander of Bulomarer, confirmed the failed French rescue attempt. Allex was taken captive in Somalia along with a companion in July 2009.