17 January 2013, 19:28

Algerian hostage crisis: Dozens killed, 180 escape

Algerian hostage crisis: Dozens killed, 180 escape

Algerian helicopters have attacked a group of Mali Islamists militants held up in a Saharan gas facility, reportedly killing 34 hostages and 15 of their captors. Six foreign hostages and eight of their captors were killed by an Algerian military strike on a vehicle being used by the kidnappers at a remote gas plant, a source in the town where the incident was unfolding said. Some hostages were still being held, and 180 Algerian citizens had escaped.

Algeria confirms ‘ongoing operation’ at Amenas gas plant

Algerian authorities have confirmed there is an "ongoing operation" at gas plant - british spokesman

Algeria has told Britain that an operation is in progress at a gas plant in the Sahara where al Qaeda-linked militants have kidnapped dozens of hostages, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said in London.

"The Algerian authorities have confirmed that there is an ongoing operation," the spokesman said. He had no comment on reports of casualties.

34 hostages killed by algerian army air strikes

34 hostages and 14 of their Al Qaeda-linked kidnappers were killed on Thursday in an air strike by the Algerian armed forces, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported, citing one of the kidnappers holding captives at a desert gas field.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the information from the agency, which has close contact with the group which has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping.

ANI reported that the spokesman for the kidnappers said they would kill the rest of their captives if the army approached.

25 foreign hostages freed from Algeria siege, including 2 Japanese - Algerian security source

25 foreign hostages freed from Algeria siege, including 2 Japanese - Algerian security source

A group calling itself the "Batallion of Blood" has said it was holding 41 foreigners inside the gas compound, which it stormed on Wednesday, demanding France halt a military campaign against Islamist rebels in neighbouring Mali.

Algerian choppers bomb gas facility, 2 hostages injured

Algerian army helicopters have bombed a BP gas facility in the city of In Amenas, media say.

Two Japanese hostages have reportedly been injured in the attack.

15 foreigners, 30 Algerians flee kidnappers - Algerian media

Fifteen foreigners and 30 Algerians being held hostage by Islamist extremists at a gas field in Algeria managed to escape from their kidnappers on Thursday, local media reported, citing officials.

"Fifteen foreigners, including a French couple, have escaped from their captors," the private Ennahar television station reported, with TV station's owner, Anis Rahmani, telling AFP that the information came from an "official source."

The French embassy could not confirm the information.

Earlier, the APS news agency said 30 Algerian workers had managed to escape from the In Amenas gas field in southeastern Algeria, where the Islamist gunmen, who say they are holding 41 foreigners hostage, are locked in a tense standoff with the Algerian army.

Algeria hostage-takers ask for safe passage

Islamist hostage-takers at an Algerian gas plant are demanding a safe passage to nearby Libya, Al Arabiya channel said Thursday.

Earlier, they demanded an end to “brutal aggression in Mali”.

Meanwhile, the Arab media claim that 30 Algerian staff and 15 foreigners managed to escape from the facility.

Wednesday, Al-Qaeda–linked militants attacked the facility capturing some 20-45 nationals of the US, France, the UK, Norway, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia. Some are allegedly killed and wounded

The militants warn that they would be blown up if the site is stormed.

Algeria Islamists urge army to go

Islamist rebels who have been holding foreign workers hostage at a gas facility in Algeria demand the army to go, otherwise they won`t negotiate the people’s release, one of the militants told Al-Jazeera. He also urged to free extremists imprisoned in Mali.

The militant added that one of the hostages, a Japanese worker, was wounded. He claims there are 41 hostages, including nationals of Great Britain, Norway, France, US, Romania, Colombia, Thailand, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Germany and the Philippines.

The militants say they have kidnapped the workers in protest against the decision of the Algerian government to allow French aircraft bomb Islamist camps in Mali.

Moscow has condemned the kidnapping of foreign workers in Algeria and confirmed there are no Russians among them.

Statoil CEO warns of ‘long-lasting’ Algeria hostage crisis

Chief of Norway’s energy giant Statoil Helge Lund has said his company was prepared for a “long-lasting situation” around the BP hostage-taking in Algeria.

Statoil had a total of 17 workers at the In Amenas gas facility when it was overrun by a group of Islamist insurgents linked with Al-Qaeda. Five of them managed to escape the terrorists. The remaining 12 employees were kidnapped, among them nine Norwegians and three Algerians.

The standoff between the terrorists and Algerian security forces has spilled into day two. “One day after the attack at In Amenas, we are still faced with an unresolved and very serious situation. There is a hostage situation at the facility,” the Statoil CEO told journalists Thursday.

“We have mobilized every available resource we have and need from the organization. At the same time, we are cooperating both with Norwegian and international authorities, as well as other companies affected by the incident,” he said.

Algerian militants force hostages to wear explosives

Islamic militants who seized a group of foreigners in Algeria have forced some of them to put on belts strapped with explosives. One of the hostages told the channel by telephone that the terrorists were heavily armed and had threatened to blow up a natural gas facility near the town of In Amenas in the southeast of the country.

On Wednesday, a group of gunmen stormed a gas pumping site in a British Petroleum-owned gas field deep in the Sahara desert and took 41 foreigners hostage.

The group announced that the attack came in response for Algeria’s decision to open its airspace for French aircraft after France began military intervention in Mali.

Algeria hostage-takers demand 20 vehicles and safe passage

Terrorists who captured dozens of foreigners in Algeria have agreed to release the hostages in exchange for 20 vehicles and safe passage to Mali, the Al-Khabar newspaper reports. Earlier, they reportedly demanded the release of 100 Islamists from Algerian prisons and an end to the military operation in Mali.

About 20 militants attacked a gas field near the town of In Amenas 100 km from the Libyan border.

They occupied one of the buildings and are holding between 20 and 40 people hostage, among them are citizens of the United States, France, Britain, Norway and Japan.

Algerian troops prepare to release gax complex hostages

Algerian troops have surrounded a gas facility in the east of the country where some 20 foreign workers are being held hostage by Islamist militants.

The complex was attacked on Wednesday. Some of the workers were kidnapped, while a Briton and an Algerian were killed.

The captives are said to include British, Japanese, US, French and Norwegian nationals.

“We reject all negotiations with the militants”, Algerian Interior Minister Daho Ould Kabila told journalists.

Al Qaeda-linked hostage takers claim they repelled Algerian army

Heavily armed Islamic militants said they had repelled an attempt by Algeria's army to enter a gas facility where they claim to be holding up to 41 foreigners, Mauritania's ANI news agency said on Wednesday.

Citing a source in the Al Qaeda-affiliated group that has claimed responsibility for the dawn raid, ANI said the gunmen had exchanged fire with the Algerian soldiers, who were forced to retreat.

The source said there were dozens of hostage-takers, armed with both light and heavy weapons including mortars and anti-aircraft missiles.

40 foreigners held hostage in Algeria

Some 40 foreigners are being held hostage at the In Amenas gas field partly operated by British Petroleum in Algeria, local media cited Al Qaeda hostage-takers Wednesday. Among the captured are seven Americans as well as British, Irish, Japanese, Norwegian and French nationals.

A militant group claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was in revenge for Algeria's support of France's operation against rebel groups in Mali especially taking into account that Algeria was France’s colony and saw many people dying in the country’s fight for independence.

Kidnappers of 8 BP workers flee from Algeria to Tunisia

Islamists, who kidnapped 8 foreign workers in Algeria, have escaped to Tunisia.

This is what a Libyan border guard says. He claims that he was a witness of how a group of armed people in two cars appeared from the Algerian side at a point where Algeria’s, Tunisia’s and Libya’s borders meet. Although the border guards opened fire at them, they managed to flee to Tunisia.

Earlier, a group of militants attacked a gas facility, which belongs to “British Petroleum”, in the town of In Amenas in Algeria’s southeast. They killed 2 British guards and kidnapped 8 foreign workers.

The terrorists are known to have come to Algeria from Mali.

An Islamist group, which is close to Al Qaeda, has claimed the responsibility for this kidnapping.

Mounting tension in Algeria hostage stand-off

The terrorists who seized hostages at a BP oil installation in southeastern Algeria remain holed up inside the facility’s housing block. A report carried by an Algerian news site says they are threatening to blow up the block if the army dares to launch a crackdown.

This morning’s attack on the oil complex left one foreign oil worker dead and six others injured.

The terrorists say they are Al Qaeda fighters from northern Mali.

International oil workers killed, seized by Al Qaeda

Terrorists reportedly speaking Libyan Arabic have seized 8 hostages, including nationals of Great Britain, Norway and Japan, at a BP oil installation in In Amenas in southeastern Algeria. A stand-off has developed, and bargaining is under way.

The attack also left three oil workers dead, one from France and two from Great Britain.

Al Qaeda fighters based in northern Mali have said they were responsible.

Islamists kill 2 Brits in Algeria oil factory attack

Two British nationals were killed Wednesday in an Islamist attack on an oil factory in southeastern Algeria, Dernieres Nouvelles d’Algerie reports.

The website reported that a group of Islamist rebels stormed the compound of the oil giant BP in the town of In Amenas.

A fire exchange ensued between the rebels and Algerian gendarmes, killing one gendarme and two security officers, who allegedly were Brits.

Media reported earlier that a Frenchman was killed and eight foreigners seized in the attack, including British, Norwegian and Japanese nationals.

Islamists seize Japanese, French national in Algeria

Islamist militants seized five Japanese nationals and a French citizen from an oil facility in Ain Amenas in southern Algeria on Wednesday.

The foreigners were taken from the facility in the morning, they said. There was no immediate confirmation of the abduction from Algerian officials.

French foreign ministry officials said they had no immediate comment on the hostage report and were still trying to verify the information.

French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that the Algerian authorities have allowed using their airspace for the French Air Force to reach Mali.

Paris launched a military operation on the 11th of this month to counter Islamists in the north of Mali in response to the Malian authorities’ appeal for help.

Extremist Muslim groups have controlled the north of Mali since spring 2012 threatening the integrity of the African nation.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, RIA, Reuters, BBC, AFP, France-24, Upstreamonline.Com, RT

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