Somali Shebab 'decide to execute' French hostage

  • Karpal and I never quarrelled even though we belonged to different parties, says Ling
    Karpal and I never quarrelled even though we belonged to different parties, says Ling

    Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh and former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik never quarrelled or fought, despite being in different parties with competing ideas about politics. This was because the former MCA chairman and the late DAP stalwart had forged a friendship at university, which Dr Ling said stood the tests that politics threw at... …

  • Law students hold candlelight vigil for Karpal
    Law students hold candlelight vigil for Karpal

    A group of first-year law students held a candlelight vigil at the Esplanade in George Town, Penang, tonight for their idol, the late Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh. The students had planned an impromptu vigil for Karpal, who they credited with inspiring them to take up law as a career choice. “We planned the event on Facebook and word got... …

  • Michael Cornelius — Karpal’s loyal ‘other half’
    Michael Cornelius — Karpal’s loyal ‘other half’

    GEORGE TOWN, April 18 — Karpal Singh’s loyal aide Michael Cornelius Selvam Vellu, who also died in the accident that killed Karpal yesterday, was almost like Karpal’s “other half”. The trained... …

  • Umno lawyer calls Karpal ‘one of the most ethical criminal lawyers’
    Umno lawyer calls Karpal ‘one of the most ethical criminal lawyers’

    Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had plenty of encounters in the courts with the late Karpal Singh but today, he paid tribute to the veteran lawyer who died in an accident yesterday. Shafee said Karpal was “one of the most ethical criminal lawyers” he used to appear with while acting as deputy public prosecutor or counsel for the... …

  • Gerakan calls Karpal elder statesman, Samy Vellu cries over news of death
    Gerakan calls Karpal elder statesman, Samy Vellu cries over news of death

    In an ultimate accolade, Gerakan, DAP’s political rival in Penang, today praised Karpal Singh as an elder statesman and a true Malaysian. State Gerakan deputy president Datuk Dr Cheah Soon Hai said Karpal was one of the few people in the country who had left a legacy. He said the former DAP chairman was a legend in both the political and... …

  • Abdullah pays tribute to Karpal’s life of service – Bernama
    Abdullah pays tribute to Karpal’s life of service – Bernama

    Former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Karpal Singh, who died in a road accident yesterday, led a life of tireless commitment and service to the people.  “We are poorer for the loss of a great legal mind and a crusader for justice and human rights," he said as he extended condolences to the family of the former DAP chairman and... …

Somali Islamists said Wednesday they would execute a French agent they have held since 2009, as France said the hostage was likely killed in a failed rescue attempt.

French commandos on Saturday launched a raid to free the hostage, known by the pseudonym of Denis Allex, but the rescue bid failed and resulted in the death of two French soldiers.

The Al-Qaeda linked Shebab said in a statement they have "reached a unanimous decision to execute the French intelligence officer, Denis Allex."

A senior Shebab official confirmed to 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."

Neither the statement nor the official explicitly said Allex was still alive.

The Shebab justified their decision by saying they wanted to avenge "the dozens of Muslim civilians senselessly killed by the French forces during the operation."

Witnesses said eight civilians died during the operation at Bulomarer, a town south of Mogadishu still in the control of the Shebab.

The group also cited "France's increasing persecution of Muslims around the world, its oppressive anti-Islam policies at home, French military operations in ... Afghanistan and, most recently, in Mali."

The Shebab have not provided any proof that Allex is still alive.

The French army on Wednesday accused the Shebab of "manipulating the media" and reaffirmed that Allex is likely already dead.

"We suspect, and I believe that we are not wrong to do so, that Somalia's Shebab are manipulating the media," France's Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud said on Europe 1 radio.

"We have no element since the raid indicating Denis Allex is alive. We think he is most likely dead," he said.

In the operation to free Allex, two other French soldiers were killed. The French retrieved one of the bodies. Pictures of the second soldier, presented by the Shebab as the commander of the raid, have been posted on the Islamists' Twitter account.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday that the raid, by the elite DGSE secret service, was sparked by the "intransigence of the terrorists who have refused to negotiate for three and a half years and were holding Denis Allex in inhuman conditions."

The minister said at the weekend that a French soldier was missing, but on Monday he said it now appeared that the soldier had died. He did not indicate that he was a commander. Le Drian said 17 guerrillas were killed in the raid.

Sources in Somalia said one of the reasons the raid failed was that the rebels had received advance warning, which senior Shebab commander Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim confirmed to AFP by telephone without giving further details.

Le Drian's explanation was that French troops had underestimated the Islamist rebels' strength when they launched the operation involving some 50 troops and at least five helicopters -- and some help from Washington.

President Barack Obama has acknowledged that US forces provided limited technical support for the operation, but said they had played no role in the fighting.

Denis Allex is the longest held French hostage overseas since French-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt, who had been held for more than six years by Colombian guerrillas until being rescued by Colombia's security forces in 2008.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • Told to ‘shut up’ on Twitter, Zul Noordin lashes back at Khairy The Malay Mail Online
    Told to ‘shut up’ on Twitter, Zul Noordin lashes back at Khairy

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — A feud is breaking out between former Perkasa vice president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin on Twitter. Told unequivocally by the minister... …

  • Langkawi BN MP pokes fun at Karpal Singh’s remains The Malaysian Insider
    Langkawi BN MP pokes fun at Karpal Singh’s remains

    As the nation mourns the passing of a great politician, BN MP Datuk Nawawi Ahmad insulted the late Karpal Singh by posting a picture of the veteran politician's blood-smeared face as he lay in his Toyota Alphard following a tragic accident this morning. Along with the Facebook picture was a newspaper cutting on Karpal being opposed to the... …

  • Karpal’s car crashed into lorry, not the other way around, says Perak police The Malaysian Insider
    Karpal’s car crashed into lorry, not the other way around, says Perak police

    Initial investigations have revealed that Karpal Singh’s Toyota Alphard crashed into a five-ton lorry in the accident yesterday that claimed his life and that of his assistant, Perak police said today. State police chief Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani also dismissed rumours and speculation that the accident was caused by the lorry crashing... …