News / Africa

    Clinton 'Deeply Concerned' About Algeria Hostage Crisis

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about the situation in Algeria at the State Department, January 18, 2013.
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about the situation in Algeria at the State Department, January 18, 2013.
    VOA News
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is "deeply concerned" about the ongoing hostage crisis in Algeria, and called on the Algerian government to do everything in its power to save lives.

    Clinton spoke during a joint appearance with the new Japanese foreign minister Friday in Washington as new reports from Algerian state media said at least 12 Algerians and foreigners had died after an assault by the Algerian army.

    U.S. officials confirmed late Friday that one American, Frederick Buttaccio, was among the dead.

    Clinton called the situation "extremely difficult and dangerous," but said because of the security concerns, she could not provide further details. She also said it is absolutely essential for the United States to" broaden and deepen" counter-terrorism efforts with Algeria and all countries of the region.

    Ain Amenas, AlgeriaAin Amenas, Algeria
    x
    Ain Amenas, Algeria
    Ain Amenas, Algeria
    Earlier, Algeria's state news agency said nearly 100 foreign hostages seized by Islamist militants on Wednesday had been freed, with more than 30 others still unaccounted for.

    Friday's report, citing an unnamed security source, said militants seized a total of 132 foreign hostages in their raid at a natural gas complex in eastern Algeria Wednesday.  

    The news agency reports the Algerian rescue operation continues, and that special forces are negotiating with militants still holding a group of hostages.  

    Images Friday from Algerian television showed some of the rescued hostages thanking the Algerian military.

    RESCUED HOSTAGE:"We are lucky that we are still alive and everything is good.
    REPORTER: What do you think of army, of Algerian Army?
    RESCUED HOSTAGE: They are a bit noisy. They are a bit noisy."

    It was not clear whether the hostages reported to be freed were rescued by the Algerian army or released by their captors, and there has been no Western confirmation of the report.

    The hostages at the site are believed to include nationals from the U.S., Britain, Japan, Norway, Romania, the Philippines, France, Malaysia and Austria.

    Earlier Friday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the situation as fluid and complicated. "They [the Algerians] are dealing with people who have no respect for human life and it is obviously in our interest to see them successfully bring this situation to a conclusion," she said.

    Story continues below
    • Residents of Ain Amenas, Algeria, gather outside the hospital trying to get information concerning relatives wounded during the terrorist attack at the gas plant, January 18, 2013.
    • An unidentified former hostage speaks to the media in a hospital in Ain Amenas, Algeria, in this image taken from television, January 18, 2013. (Canal Algerie)
    • An unidentified former hostage receives treatment in a hospital in Ain Amenas, Algeria, in this image taken from television, January 18, 2013. (Canal Algerie)
    • Unidentified former hostages pose for the media in Ain Amenas, Algeria, in this image taken from television , January 18, 2013. (Canal Algerie)
    • Algerian special police unit officers secure the hospital in Ain Amenas, Algeria, January 18, 2013, two days after the start of the terrorist attack at a gas plant.

    Officials in the U.S., Britain and other countries have said they are seeking information about developments at the plant - while expressing regret Algeria did not inform them in advance about the military operation.

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to parliament about the hostage situation in Algeria in London, January 18, 2013.Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to parliament about the hostage situation in Algeria in London, January 18, 2013.
    x
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to parliament about the hostage situation in Algeria in London, January 18, 2013.
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to parliament about the hostage situation in Algeria in London, January 18, 2013.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron told lawmakers Friday that he got an update from Algeria's prime minister. "He said that the terrorists had tried to flee, that they judged there to be an immediate threat to the lives of the hostages and had felt obliged to respond," he said.

    "When I spoke to the Algerian prime minister later last night he told me that this first operation was complete but this is a large and complex site and they are still pursuing terrorists and possibly some of the hostages in other areas of the site,"Cameron said.

    The White House said Friday that President Obama is getting regular updates from security officials on the situation in Algeria.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in London and met with Prime Minister Cameron on Friday. Officials said they discussed Algeria, Mali, and other issues.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers a speech on the future of transatlantic relationships and the future of U.S. defense at King's College in London, England, January 18, 2013.U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers a speech on the future of transatlantic relationships and the future of U.S. defense at King's College in London, England, January 18, 2013.
    x
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers a speech on the future of transatlantic relationships and the future of U.S. defense at King's College in London, England, January 18, 2013.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers a speech on the future of transatlantic relationships and the future of U.S. defense at King's College in London, England, January 18, 2013.
    During a speech at London's King's College, Panetta said terrorists who attack Americans "will have no refuge - not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere."

    Speaking during a trip to Perth, Australia, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned the Algerian kidnapping is part of a much more worrisome problem.

    "This terrible incident of terrorism has highlighted again the threat in North Africa and the Sahel, from international terrorism, and working with our international partners we will maintain our resolve to see that threat countered and defeated and al-Qaida denied a foothold on Europe's southern border," said Hague.

    In France, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls also raised concerns about militant groups and links to Europe.

    "For years, there have been French jihadis who have gone to fight a war in Afghanistan, in Syria, and a very small handful in the Sahel. They are obviously being watched by our intelligence agencies," said Valls.

    The militants, who said they attacked the facility in retaliation for French military operations in Mali, on Friday threatened more attacks. A spokesman for the group told the Mauritanian news agency ANI that Algerian forces should stay away from foreign companies, vowing to strike "where it is least expected."

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

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mahmet Antar from: Egypt
    January 18, 2013 7:03 PM
    somehow we have no sympathy for your "concern"... after all, you helped inaugurate Al Quaeda in Egypt. Egypt, today, is the first officially recognized Al Quaeda State. America seem to be really stupid... Bush wanted "free elections" in Gaza - you got Hamas... Obama wanted "free elections" in Egypt - you got Muslim Brotherhood... "free elections" in Iraq - you got the Moqtada al-Sadr madi army allied to Iran!!! America is beginning to be the agents of instability in the world. I am Egyptian, and i tell you America, before you do anything else - talk to the Israelies!!!

    by: ali baba from: new york
    January 18, 2013 6:12 PM
    Ms. Clinton. wish you a quick recovery. terrorist is a international problem .it needs a cooperation from Islamic world such as Pakistan ,Afghanistan ,Egypt, .these countries are part of the problem and they are not the part of solution. The American policy is wrong. they support fanatic like moersi. ,The united state waste billion dollar in afghnistan.by supporting these regime ,make the problem out of control. the united policy for Islamic country should be based on facts. the fact is there is serious hatred and that hatred will not vanish by pouring money to bribe general in Pakistan. . we need cut all aids to them .once the economic pressure get tough on them ,they straight it out and fight local terrorism on their land. for example in Egypt , imam .as swfot hagazi and Abu Ismail. use media to spread the mission of hate .these mission of hate produce psychopath that involve in tragic terrorist attack in Algeria

    by: Valery from: France
    January 18, 2013 5:35 PM
    well, she should be concerned... the whole world is frightened by this vile Islamic theocratic fascism... what do you do with a cult of suicide murderers...?? appease them..?? give them Jerusalem...?? there is nothing that they will not defile - Europe should follow the US and Israel - and confront these revolting scum... start by deporting them from the heart of Europe!!!

    by: Matilde from: France
    January 18, 2013 2:53 PM
    all these "freed hostages" look suspiciously un-westerners... should we have paid more attention to the ranting of Islamic contamination in France.? should we have deported them when we had the chance.? have we been lied to by our politicians about "multiculturalism".? were we plied with inaccurate information about the US and Israel struggle to inform us.? we were encouraged to look with disdain on US and Israel efforts to confront this vile Muslims, and now we are suffering the consequences

    by: ali baba from: new york
    January 18, 2013 2:03 PM
    the Islamic world especially Pakistan ,Afghanistan and Egypt is plying double standard. they support the terrorist in secret and say in public something else that is the reason for terrorist attacks for example, president Mubarak has sent many of them in jail . once moersi took the office, he released them . as a result Egyptian were involved in the attack on Libya and Algeria and we shall more in future

    by: JULI EFENDI from: INDONESIA
    January 18, 2013 1:29 PM
    It's a good news.But why terorist is focus to attack US ??? we know Ossama is dead,who is the big leader for terrorist???
    Thank's.
    In Response

    by: Pegasus from: Australia
    January 18, 2013 7:57 PM
    The Algerian Hostage situation is to create attention that will make people understand and adhere to the demands of the movement. Most of the freed hostages are Un-Westerners becasue otherwise what benefit could algerians have at detaining their own country folk when the messge they want to portray to the west is "Get out" and "we don't want you here."
    this is not a targeted attack at the U.S this is an attack to push foreign influence out of the country and region.
    it is an idea as a movement, it does not need a leader if somone feels the need to adhere to its principles.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora