Saturday, January 12, 2013

French special forces pilot killed in Mali attacks

This is the French military helicopter pilot killed as his country launched twin attacks in Africa against Islamist groups and a failed attempt to release a hostage.

Lt Damien Boiteux, 41, was killed during operations against rebels in Mali, in what appears to be a dramatic new western military intervention in the former French colony.

 French President Francois Hollande has ordered an increase in domestic security in the aftermath of military operations in Mali and in Somalia. He was responding to the risk of Islamist attack after French forces intervened against militants.

 French commandos were engaged in fierce battle with al-Shabaab militants in the Somalian town of Bulo-Marer, about 70 miles south of Mogadishu, during a night time raid to rescue a hostage. Frenchman Denis Allex, who was kidnapped in July 2009, was also believed to have died, according to the French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

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