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Somalia: Al Shabab posts Twitter photo of dead French soldier

Somali militants posted three photos on an al-Shabab-run Twitter account today that they say show a French soldier killed during a failed attempt to rescue a French hostage.

Al shabab french soldier 2012 14 01Enlarge
A photo posted on an al-Shabab-run Twitter account that claims to show a French soldier killed during a failed attempt to rescue a French hostage on Jan. 12. (YouTube)

Somali militants posted three photos on an al-Shabab-run Twitter account today that they say show a French soldier killed during a failed attempt to rescue a French hostage on Jan. 12, the Associated Press reported. Al Shabab is a Somali militant group affiliated with al Qaeda.

One photo shows a dead white man wearing military clothing surrounded by three guns, ammunition clips and body armor, the AP reported.

One of the Twitter postings bragged, "A return of the crusades, but the cross could not save him from the sword,” the AP reported. Another posting read: "Francois Hollande, was it worth it?"

French commandos raided an al Shabab location in the town of Bulo Marer, in southern Somalia, early Saturday in an attempt to free a French intelligence agent who’s been held hostage by Somali militants since July 2009, CNN reported.

More from GlobalPost: French hostage, commandos feared dead in failed rescue mission in Somalia

Al Shabab claims two French commandos were killed during the failed raid, and the French government says it believes the hostage, whose code-name was Denis Allex, also died, CNN reported. Al Shabab maintains that Allex is still alive.

President Barack Obama said Sunday that US forces "provided limited technical support” to the rescue attempt but "took no direct part in the assault on the compound where it was believed the French citizen was being held hostage," CNN reported.

In a letter to legislators released publicly, Obama added: "United States combat aircraft briefly entered Somali airspace to support the rescue operation, if needed. These aircraft did not employ weapons during the operation.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/130114/somalia-al-shabab-posts-twitter-photo-dead-french-soldier