French helicopters in repeated attacks on an Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab base in southern Somalia lost one commando dead and a second captured in a hostage rescue mission Saturday. The fate of the hostage, Denis Alex, a French DGSE intelligence officer who was kidnapped by Shabaab in Mogadishu four years ago, is unknown. The French helicopters returned to the attack repeatedly after they were driven back with casualties by heavy rebel anti-anti-aircraft fire. Saturday midday, Paris reported the rescue mission had failed. Seventeen Shabaab fighters were killed in the fierce fighting.