News / Africa

    Fates of Dozens of Foreign Hostages in Algeria Unknown

    This October 8, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Amenas Gas Field in Algeria, which is jointly operated by BP and Norway's Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach.This October 8, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Amenas Gas Field in Algeria, which is jointly operated by BP and Norway's Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach.
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    This October 8, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Amenas Gas Field in Algeria, which is jointly operated by BP and Norway's Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach.
    This October 8, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Amenas Gas Field in Algeria, which is jointly operated by BP and Norway's Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach.
    VOA News
    A hostage crisis at a gas complex in the Algerian desert entered its third day Friday, with little known about the fate of those still held there.

    Algerian forces stormed the Ain Amenas gas plant Thursday, freeing an unknown number of foreign and local workers, but leaving several hostages and kidnappers dead.

    Foreign governments, which were not alerted to the raid beforehand, were nervously trying to discern the condition of the 41 foreign hostages reported held at the facility.

    Ain Amenas, AlgeriaAin Amenas, Algeria
    x
    Ain Amenas, Algeria
    Ain Amenas, Algeria
    At least four foreign captives were confirmed safe by their governments -- three Japanese and an Irishman. The fate of the others - reported to be from the U.S., Japan, Norway, Romania, the Philippines, Britain, France, Malaysia and Austria, is unknown.

    Algerian state media said 600 local workers, who were not as well-guarded as the foreign hostages, also were freed in the raid.

    Militants claiming allegiance with al-Qaida stormed the gas complex in eastern Algeria Wednesday in what they said was retaliation for French military operations in Mali.

    The Algerian military has surrounded the facility. It has refused to negotiate with the kidnappers, and has rejected offers of military help from Western nations, although an unarmed U.S. military drone was reported to be flying overhead.

    Algerian Communications Minister Mohamed Said said a "large number of hostages were freed and a large number of terrorists were neutralized" during the Thursday raid. He also said several hostages were killed.

    A militant spokesman said 34 hostages and 15 kidnappers were killed when Algerian helicopters attacked. The claim was impossible to confirm.

    The gas complex, located in a remote area of the desert, is jointly run by Algerian, British and Norwegian firms.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ميدان التحرير from: Egypt
    January 18, 2013 5:06 AM
    listen America, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is actively recruiting fighters to go fight France in the Mali and in Algiers. you must listen to the preachers in the Mosques here. don't be fooled by what you hear in English of cnn, please listen to them in Arabic. they recruiting Islamic jihad listen America

    by: Igor from: Russia
    January 17, 2013 11:11 PM
    Why France has not taken any action to rescue the hostages yet? The hostage crisis is the result of their intervention in Mali. Why are they so irresponsible? Or they think they have no benefit in sending troops to rescue the hostages?

    by: ali baba from: new york
    January 17, 2013 9:09 PM
    United state has to work with France to eliminate terrorist organization. this send a clear message that the west will not intimidate with psychopath and the west will root them out

    by: David Demir Tosun
    January 17, 2013 7:55 PM
    How many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry ?
    Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died ?

    I believe it is time to STOP "Leading from Behind" and to START "Being One Step Ahead"

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