French intelligence agent Denis Allex has been reportedly killed by Somali militants linked to al Qaeda.
In a statement the group said it had executed the hostage late on Wednesday afternoon.
French armed forces had tried to rescue their agent at the weekend and it was believed he had been killed in the failed operation. Two French commandos died in the raid.
Shortly after that, Al Shabaab, who had been holding Allex since July 2009, issued a statement saying he had been sentenced to death. It stated their decision to kill him followed what it called three years of “exhaustive attempts at negotiations” over his release.