News / Africa

Algeria: Death Toll from Hostage Crisis May Rise

An Algerian soldier stands at a checkpoint near a road sign indicating 10 km (6 miles) to a gas installation in Tigantourine, the site where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage according to the Algerian interior ministry, in Amena Janu
An Algerian soldier stands at a checkpoint near a road sign indicating 10 km (6 miles) to a gas installation in Tigantourine, the site where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage according to the Algerian interior ministry, in Amena Janu
VOA News
Algeria says the death toll from the hostage crisis at a natural gas complex could rise. The government said Sunday several countries have indicated some of their citizens remain missing after an end to the bloody conflict at the complex in eastern Algeria.

On Saturday, Algeria's Interior Ministry said the nation's hostage crisis had ended with 23 hostages and 32 militants killed.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday that three British nationals are confirmed dead, and another three are believed to have been killed. U.S. officials previously said at least one American is known to have died.

Algeria's Interior Ministry said security forces managed to free 107 foreign hostages and 685 Algerians.

Algeria's official APS news agency said the country's special forces stormed the complex Saturday in their "final assault" on Islamists who had been holding scores of hostages in the desert facility.  However, few details have emerged from the remote location where the rescue mission took place.

France endorsed Algeria's handling of the situation Saturday, saying it was the "most appropriate" response since it was not possible to negotiate with the "coldly determined terrorists."

In Washington, President Barack Obama condemned the actions of the kidnappers, saying they were entirely to blame.

British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond also said the terrorists bear the "sole responsibility" for the deaths.

Several Americans were among those being held.  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in London after meeting with Hammond that he had only "sketchy information" about the American hostages and would not comment until he had better details.  He also renounced terrorist attacks on Americans across the globe.

"Just as we cannot accept terrorism attacks against our cities, we cannot accept attacks against our citizens and our interests abroad. Neither can we accept an al-Qaida safe haven anywhere in the world," he said.

Foreign hostages at the gas complex are believed to have included nationals from the U.S., Britain, Japan, Norway, Romania, the Philippines, France, Malaysia and Austria. The complex is jointly run by Algerian, British and Norwegian firms.  Japanese officials say several of their nationals are missing.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning Americans in Algeria, saying there are credible threats of the kidnapping of Western nationals.

The militants say they attacked the facility Wednesday in retaliation for French military operations in Mali.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs