France says it will continute to support the Western-backed Mogadishu government as legitimate. At least eight Western workers are held hostage in the country.
Al-Shabab, the insurgent group with alleged links to Al Qaeda, demanded that France stop supporting Somalia's government, remove all French personnel from the country, withdraw its Navy from antipiracy patrols in Somali coastal waters, and get the African Union to withdraw its peacekeepers.
The demands come as the group has vowed revenge for Monday's US commando raid into Somalia, which killed six fighters, including a top terror suspect with ties to Al Qaeda. That raid has raised concerns of reprisals against Western hostages in Somalia.