Paris: A French soldier who went missing during a rescue operation to free a hostage in Somalia was apparently killed by Al Qaeda-linked group Al Shebab, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday.
"Everything leads us to believe that the hostage and missed soldier were killed," Xinhua quoted Le Drian as telling the BFMTV news channel.
He said the Al Shebab was also preparing to do something "gruesome" and "outrageous" with the bodies.
The minister earlier said that one soldier was killed and another went missing during an operation to release secret agent Denis Alex held in Somalia by the Al Shebab since 2009.
The soldier was wounded when French commandos Saturday attacked the site in southern Somalia where they believed Alex was held.
The French news channel earlier reported that a spokesman of Al Shebab announced the death of the wounded French soldier.