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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:25 AM

Hostage siege at Algeria gas plant not over

Source: BBC News

The hostage crisis at a gas facility in the Algerian desert has yet to be resolved, officials have said.

The UK said the incident near In Amenas was "ongoing" and Algerian state media said Islamist militants were holding foreign workers at a treatment plant.

At least four hostages and a number of militants were killed on Thursday when troops stormed the living quarters.

The militants had claimed to be holding 41 foreigners. At least four were freed but the fate of many others is unknown.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21071378

Foreign Office warns In Amenas hostage crisis not over yet.

The hostage crisis in Algeria is not over yet, the Foreign Office (FCO) said on Friday morning, despite reports from Algerian state news agency APS that the crisis had ended.

Amid uncertainty about the number of casualties, the FCO said the situation was "ongoing". At least one British national has been killed, but reports suggest the fate of the others remains uncertain. The prime minister, David Cameron, said on Thursday evening that Britain "should be prepared for bad news".

An FCO spokesman said: "The terrorist incident in Algeria remains ongoing. The prime minister spoke twice to his Algerian counterpart, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, on Thursday."

Cameron will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Friday morning as efforts continue to establish the full scale of the bloodshed.


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Reply Hostage siege at Algeria gas plant not over (Original post)
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #3
xchrom Jan 2013 #4
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #5
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #2
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #6

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:32 AM

1. Algeria hostage crisis 'ongoing', says Foreign Office - live updates


The Tigantourine natural gas facility in the An Amenas gas field in eastern Algeria is seen in this satellite image courtesy of Google Earth. Photograph: Google Earth/Reuters

11m ago
The Algerian news service TSA (Tout sur l'Algerie) quotes a "well-informed local source" as saying only a few Islamists remain in the facility.

The same source told the agency that yesterday's operations had resulted in the deaths of 31 people: 20 hostages and 11 Islamists. Two further militants were captured alive, the source told TSA: one from Mali, and the other from Algeria.

This information has not been independently verified.

TSA also cites a a local leader, Knaoui Sidi, as saying attempts were made to negotiate with the hostage-takers yesterday but that no further efforts would be made today.

"There is no possibility of further negotiations," Sidi said, noting that the hostage-takers had refused to receive a delegation of local Touareg leaders yesterday. "Algerian special forces will mount an assault."

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:34 AM

3. Thanks

You posted while I was updating with a different Guardian link.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:39 AM

4. i hope that's ok?

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Response to xchrom (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:48 AM

5. off course it was

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:34 AM

2. The one eye witness account I've seen was from Stephen McFaul

who escaped in the confusion:

"The gunmen) were moving five jeeploads of hostages from one part of the compound," his brother Brian McFaul said.

"At that stage, they were intercepted by the Algerian army.

"The army bombed four out of five of the trucks and four of them were destroyed ... He presumed everyone else in the other trucks was killed ... The truck my brother was in crashed and at that stage Stephen was able to make a break for his freedom."

Mr McFaul said it was unclear whether the vehicles had been struck by missiles fired from helicopters or by ground forces.


which doesn't sound good for survivors.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:34 AM

6. Belmokhtar 'offers hostage swap' (for American hostages); 60 hostages still unaccounted for

Ihab Mohamed writes: According to Mauratania's ANI news agency, which seems to be in contact with the Battalion of Blood, the terrorist group behind the hostage crisis, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the group's leader, is offering to release the American hostages in exchange for the release of Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui, who are in jail in America on terrorism charges.

Belmokhtar has recorded a video message, which he is going to send to the mass media, in which he offers the same swap and calls on the French and Algerians to negotiate an end to the war in northern Mali.

We cannot independently verify this, although ANI has been broadly right in its reports throughout this crisis


BBC news ticker currently has "ALGERIA HOSTAGES: About 60 foreign hostages still unaccounted for, Algerian state news agency says"

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