Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab said Monday a French soldier wounded and captured during a failed hostage rescue raid has died and published pictures of the purported commando chief’s body.
“The French soldier who was part of the invasion to Somalia died (from) the injury he sustained,” Al Shabaab military spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab told AFP by telephone. “Our medical staff attempted to help him but he was unlucky.”
France’s military operation Saturday to free a French spy held hostage by the Shebab since July 2009 was a failure, with another French soldier killed and the situation of the hostage unclear.
The Shebab, who claim the hostage is alive, said they would announce later Monday their decision regarding his fate, while France believes he was killed during the rescue attempt.
The Shebab have posted on their Twitter account two pictures they claim are of a French commando chief killed in the botched raid.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Monday denounced the publication of the photographs.
“This is a particularly odious display,” he said.
The French defence ministry earlier had expressed fears that the Somali Islamists would put on display the bodies of the missing French soldier and the hostage.