MOGADISHU — Somalia's al-Qaida-linked militants say they will kill a French hostage they have held for more than three years in the wake of a botched rescue operation by the French military.
Al-Shabab said in a lengthy statement Wednesday that they decided to kill the French intelligence agent, whose code name is Denis Allex, in retaliation for the failed rescue operation early Saturday. Two French soldiers and 17 Somalis were killed during the rescue attempt, French officials say.
France's defense minister has said that Allex is already dead. Al-Shabab has said Allex was still alive after the rescue attempt. The Wednesday statement did not offer proof that Allex is still alive, or say when he would be executed if he is still alive.
Al-Shabab has held Allex since July 2009.