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Obama: U.S. assisted in failed Somalia rescue

FILE- In this undated file image from video posted islamic militant websites  made available Wednesday June 9 2010 man

FILE- In this undated file image from a video posted on islamic militant websites and made available Wednesday June 9 2010, a man identified as French security agent Denis Allex pleads for his release from the Somali militant group al-Shabaab who have been holding him for nearly a year. A French commando raid in Somalia to free a captive intelligence agent ended in the deaths of 17 Islamists and a French soldier. France said the hostage also died in the failed rescue, but the man's captors denied he had been killed and claimed Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, to have seized a second soldier. (AP Photo, File)

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says U.S. forces assisted in a failed attempt to rescue a French citizen in Somalia on Friday.

Obama says the U.S. forces provided limited technical support to French forces leading the operation. The president says the Americans had no direct role in the assault on the compound where a French intelligence agent was believed to be held hostage.

French officials say the hostage is almost certainly dead. A French commando was also killed in the rescue attempt.

Obama disclosed the U.S. role Sunday in a letter alerting Congress about the deployment of U.S. forces.



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