News / Africa

US Vows to Continue Counter-terror Efforts Following Hostage Crisis in Algeria

TEXT SIZE - +
— The United States has condemned the terrorist attack on an Algerian gas facility by an al-Qaida-linked group, and its seizing of foreign hostages, including Americans.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the attack demonstrates the challenge in confronting extremist groups.  
 
Secretary Clinton addressed the deadly situation in Algeria during a media appearance with the visiting Somali president.
 
The White House earlier condemned the attack on the Algerian gas facility by an apparent al-Qaida affiliate, which said it was retaliating for Algerian cooperation with French military operations in Mali.
 
Secretary of State Clinton said, "This incident will be resolved, we hope with a minimum loss of life, but when you deal with these relentless terrorists, life is not in any way precious to them.  But when this incident is finally over we know we face a continuing, ongoing problem."
 
Referring to the situation in Mali, Clinton said the U.S. will do everything it can to work with partners in North Africa to confront and disrupt al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
 
In Mali, she said this includes support for French troops, and help for African troops being sent in, including pre-deployment training and sustainment packages.
 
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Algerian officials, including Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal who Secretary Clinton spoke with, agreed to keep all channels of communication open.
 
At the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama is being regularly updated by his national security team.
 
Carney declined to say whether the U.S. offered assistance to Algeria in a reported rescue mission, or whether the Algerian government consulted with the United States beforehand.
 
He addressed reports about potential loss of life.
 
"Unfortunately the best information we have at this time, as I said, indicates that U.S. citizens are among the hostages but we don't have at this point more details to provide to you.  We are certainly concerned about reports of loss of life and are seeking clarity from the government of Algeria," he said. 
 
An unknown number of the hostages are reported to have been killed.  Carney said the U.S. has not been able to confirm or rebut reports about links between the terrorist group in Algeria and al-Qaida, but said finding out who is responsible is a priority.
 
He said the U.S. and allies are vigorous in ongoing efforts against al-Qaida affiliates, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  Calling them a multi-headed beast, he said they pose threats to U.S. interests in the region.
 
John Campbell, senior fellow for Africa policy studies, Council on Foreign Relations, says counter-terrorism challenge now requires unified efforts against fragmented groups that may be linked to al-Qaida. 
 
"Basic to the administration's strategy has been 'African solutions to African problems.'  And what that has meant is developing the capacity of African nations to protect themselves against criminal and terrorist networks," he said. 
 
In her remarks Thursday, Secretary Clinton called counter-terrorism efforts in the region difficult but essential work, involving remote locations.  
 
Standing next to Somalia's new president, she said the U.S. will remain committed to the ongoing work of countering violent extremism, just as it was to trying to stabilize the situation in Somalia. 

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid