20 January 2013, 13:18

Nationals of 7 countries among Algeria hostage-takers

Nationals of 7 countries among Algeria hostage-takers

The militants who seized hostages at the In Amenas gas facility in southeast Algeria included nationals of seven countries – Tunisia, Egypt, Mali, Algeria, Canada, Nigeria and Mauritania. The group was trained in Nigeria.

It crossed into Algeria through Libya with the aim of seizing a large number of foreign hostages and transferring them to Mali in an attempt to force France to stop its military intervention in that African country.

On Wednesday, a group of gunmen raided the In Amenas complex taking hundreds of people hostage, including 107 foreigners.

At least 23 hostages were killed during a rescue operation launched by Algerian troops. All of the 32 terrorists were neutralized.

Final death toll at Algeria gas plant: 23 hostages, 32 terrorists

A total of 23 hostages and 32 militants were killed after an attack on a gas plant in the Algerian desert, the Algerian Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

Giving what it said was the final death toll of the attack at In Amenas, it also said 107 foreign hostages and 685 Algerian hostages had been released.

Voice of Russia, RIA, Reuters

 


Algerian army carries "final assault" on Sahara gas plant

The Algerian army carried out a dramatic final assault to end a siege by Islamic militants at a desert gas plant on Saturday, killing 11 Al Qaeda-linked gunmen after they took the lives of seven more foreign hostages, the state news agency said.

The state oil and gas company, Sonatrach, said the militants who attacked the plant on Wednesday and took a large number of hostages had booby-trapped the complex with explosives, which the army was removing.

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the hostage situation had been "brought to an end" by the Algerian army assault on the militants.

The exact death toll among the gunmen and the foreign and Algerian workers at the plant near the town of In Amenas remained unclear, although a tally of reports from various sources indicated that several dozen people had been killed.

The Islamists' attack on the gas plant has tested Algeria's relations with the outside world, exposed the vulnerability of multinational oil operations in the Sahara and pushed Islamic radicalism in northern Africa to centre stage.

Some Western governments expressed frustration at not being informed of the Algerian authorities' plans to storm the complex. Algeria's response to the raid will have been conditioned by the legacy of a civil war against Islamist insurgents in the 1990s which claimed 200,000 lives.

Voice of Russia, Reuters

 


Sahara plant hostage deaths guessed at 27

Egyptian media have quoted an Algerian security source as saying the hostage drama at a Sahara gas plant appears to have claimed the lives of 27 hostages, including foreigners.

The drama started on Wednesday, when the plant was seized by Al Qaeda terrorists, and came to an end this morning, when Algerian special forces successfully stormed the plant. Disposal experts are demining the gas complex.

Of the 700 or so hostages held at the plant, some 650, including about 100 foreigners, have been successfully freed.

Algeria: army clearing mines from gas plant

The Algerian army is clearing mines planted by al Qaeda-linked fighters at the desert gas plant they attacked three days ago, the national oil and gas company Sonatrach said on Saturday.

Algerian soldiers start demining the Sahara gas plant that was held by terrorists.

The final death toll in the Algerian crackdown on the plant is 11 terrorists and 7 of the hostages – two from the US, three from Belgium, one from Japan and one from the UK. All seven were executed by their captors.

The happy escapes from the siege number about 650, including some 100 foreigners.

Further details of the operation are forthcoming at a scheduled news conference.

18 dead as Algerian forces launch "final assault" - aps

Algerian special forces on Saturday launched a "final assault" on Islamists holding foreign hostages at a gas plant in the Algerian desert, killing 11 of the al Qaeda-linked fighters, the country's official APS news agency said.

Seven foreign hostages held by the militants have been killed by their captors, APS said.

16 foreign hostages freed in Algeria

Sixteen foreign hostages being held by Islamist fighters who attacked a gas plant in the Algerian desert were freed on Saturday, a source close to the crisis said.

Those freed included two Americans, two Germans and one Portuguese, the source told Reuters. The nationalities of the others were not immediately clear.

Another 6 hostages freed at Sahara gas plant

Algerian forces have freed another six of the over 700 hostages who were seized by Al Qaeda terrorists Wednesday at a Sahara gas plant.

This brings the total happy escapes to more than 650, including some 100 foreign nationals.

Reports on Saturday morning said the terrorists were still holding seven foreign contractors - two from the US, three from Belgium, one from Japan and one from the UK.

Three of the terrorists and 12 of the hostages are known to have died in the Algerian crackdown.

Algeria: 15 burned bodies found at Amenas gas plant

Algerian special forces on Saturday found 15 burned bodies at the desert gas plant attacked by al Qaeda-linked fighters, a source familiar with the unfolding hostage crisis there said.

An investigation was in progress to try and identify the bodies, which were found after the Algerian army launched an operation to free dozens of foreign and Algerian workers at the gas plant. There was no immediate indication of the circumstances in which those found on Saturday had died.

Commandoes wipe out three terrorist group chieftains in Algeria

A commando unit has wiped out three chieftains of the terrorist group known as the Undersigned in Blood Battalion, which seized hostages in Algeria several days ago.

The chieftains were killed in a mop-up operation at the oil and gas complex where the hostages were held, according to the local media.

Rebels involved with Al-Qaeda seized several hundred Algerian and foreign experts at the oil and gas complex on January 16.

According to the latest reports, more than 600 hostages, including 573 Algerians and some 100 foreigners were set free during a special operation that’s still going on.

The terrorists are holding 7 foreign nationals, while 12 people, both Algerian and foreign hostages, have been listed as dead.

UNSC urges world community to help find, punish hostage-takers

The UN Security Council has urged the world community to help Algeria track down and punish those guilty of taking hostages at an oil and gas facility in the east of the Arab country.

The Security Council has circulated a statement at the UN Headquarters to point out the need for putting the perpetrators, masterminds and sponsors of the outrageous attack on trial.

The Security Council member states have reiterated their resolve to fight any acts of terror irrespective of the motives involved and of who and where launches such attacks.

Islamic militants took hostage hundreds of staff-members of a gas-processing facility in the east of Algeria on Wednesday.

After the terrorists turned down the ultimatum to surrender, Algerian army commandos launched an operation to set the hostages free.

According to the latest reports, the military has set free more than 600 people, of whom foreign nationals make up some 70. 1

2 hostages have been listed as dead, while seven others are still in the hands of militants who are hiding inside the oil-and-gas complex.

Operation to free hostages at Algerian gas plant continues

In the course of a special operation against terrorists at the gas processing plant in Algeria about 100 foreign and 573 local hostages were released.

This was announced on Friday by the Algerian agency APS. The fate of more than 30 foreigners remains unknown. The operation at the plant near the city Amenas continues.

The group of terrorists is holding at least two Americans, whom the extremists offered to exchange for two of their "brothers-in-arms" detained at U.S. jails.

According to the Algerian security authorities, there were 132 foreigners and hundreds of Algerians at the facility. Apparently, an unconfirmed number of hostages have been killed and wounded.

12 Algerian and foreign hostages killed in gas plant rescue mission

Algeria's state news agency says 12 hostages have been killed since the start of the operation to free workers kidnapped by Islamic militants at a natural gas plant in the Sahara.

The APS news agency quotes an unidentified security source for the new death toll and says the fatalities include both Algerian and foreign workers at the remote desert facility.

APS also said Friday that 18 of the hostage takers have been killed. 573 Algerians and 'around 100' of 132 foreign workers were freed at the In Amenas facility.

The bloody three-day hostage standoff at a natural gas plant in the Sahara took a dramatic turn Friday as Algeria's state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants had been freed.

The terrorists still continue to hold seven foreign hostages.

Operation to free hostages at Algerian gas plant continues

In the course of a special operation against terrorists at the gas processing plant in Algeria about 100 foreign and 573 local hostages were released.

This was announced on Friday by the Algerian agency APS. The fate of more than 30 foreigners remains unknown. The operation at the plant near the city Amenas continues.

The group of terrorists is holding at least two Americans, whom the extremists offered to exchange for two of their "brothers-in-arms" detained at U.S. jails.

According to the Algerian security authorities, there were 132 foreigners and hundreds of Algerians at the facility. Apparently, an unconfirmed number of hostages have been killed and wounded.

US won't negotiate with 'terrorists'

The United States said Friday it would not strike deals with "terrorists" after Islamist gunmen who seized hostages at a remote gas field in Algeria proposed a swap for prisoners.

"The United States does not negotiate with terrorists," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters when asked about the proposal, declining further elaboration.

Clinton speaks with Algeria on 'fluid' hostage crisis

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke Friday to Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to try to coordinate efforts on the "extremely fluid" hostage crisis, an official said.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Clinton and Sellal have spoken for three straight days.

She gave few details on their talks but reiterated a call for Algeria to prioritize the safety of hostages.

Voice of Russia, AFP, RIA, TASS, AP, BBC, Reuters

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