Somali militants post pictures of dead French soldier
REUTERS photoThe al-Qaeda-linked Somalian al-Shabaab group tweeted photos of a dead French soldier on Monday, after he was captured during the failed French military offensive in Somalia on Jan. 12.
"All indications unfortunately lead us to believe that al-Shabaab are preparing to organize a disgraceful and macabre display" of the bodies, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had said before the photos were published, in order to prepare public opinion for this development.
Months after al Shabaab was routed from the key Somali port city of Kismayu, the al Qaeda-linked militant group scored a gruesome propaganda coup on Monday with the publication of photos of what appeared to be a dead French soldier captured during Saturday’s failed French raid.
The photos, posted on the group’s Twitter account, showed a white man in a blood-soaked shirt lying on an orange tarp on a bed of dry leaves. A close-up shot revealed a silver cross pendant around the victim’s neck sticking out of his shirt collar in what appeared to be a carefully arranged image.
The accompanying captions were characteristically taunting: “A return of the crusades, but the cross could not save him from the sword,” said the text accompanying the close-up shot. Another photo, which showed the victim with guns, ammunition clips and a helmet placed between his legs, bore the caption: “François Hollande, was it worth it?”
Al Shabaab’s verbal stab at the French president came two days after a military raid to rescue a French intelligence officer held captive since July 2009 ended in disaster.
According to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, two French commandos were killed in a heavy firefight and the hostage, Denis Allex, is believed to have been killed.
Al Shabaab however maintained the French intelligence agent was alive
and that a “verdict” on his fate had been reached. It has not as yet
revealed details of the “verdict”.
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