MOGADISHU, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- French commando forces raided a base of the Somali rebel Al-Shabaab fighters in the south of the nation, in failed attempt to rescue a hostage, witnesses and local media said on Saturday.
The French forces with four helicopters raided the Al-Shabaab militant base in Mulo Marer, but met stiff resistance from heavily armed fighters.
"The helicopters came down and a number of soldiers tried to enter the camp but the fighters fired back at the (French) forces and after few exchanges the forces returned," Ali an eyewitness told Xinhua.
Reports say that one French soldier was killed while a number of fighters were injured in the exchanges of fire with the militant who hold hostage a French security expert they kidnapped back in 2009 in Mogadishu Hotel.
Another hostage has escaped months after he was held by another rebel group.
Al-Shabaab group has not officially commented on the raid, but pro-Islamic websites said the group managed repulsed the French attempt to rescue the hostage.
Al-Shabaab have previously demanded the release of some of its fighters being held by Somali government and French officials in exchange for the hostage.
Somalia-based Al-Shabaab is linked to the international terror organization of Al-Qaida.
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