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  1. #1
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    Briton reported killed in kidnap raid in Algeria

    A Briton and a French national have been killed in an attack by militants on a gas complex in the Algerian desert, according to the country's state news agency. Seven others are reported to have been wounded and an undetermined number of foreigners – possibly as many as 41 – are being held hostage.

    A group called the Katibat Moulathamine, or the Masked Brigade, called a Mauritanian news outlet to say one of its subsidiaries had carried out the operation on the Ain Amenas gas field, taking 41 hostages from nine or 10 different nationalities.

    The group's claim could not be independently substantiated.

    David Cameron was chairing a meeting of the government's crisis committee Cobra on Wednesday afternoon. The Ain Amenas natural gas complex is operated as a joint venture by British Petroleum, Norway's Statoil and the Algerian state company, Sonatrach.

    It is understood that a 36-year-old married man from Northern Ireland was among British, Irish, Japanese, Norwegian and French nationals taken captive during a dawn raid by a group claiming al-Qaida links. A diplomatic source said an American had also been kidnapped.

    BP said armed people are still occupying facilities at the gas field in Algeria.

    "The site was attacked and occupied by a group of unidentified armed people at about 0500 UK time. Contact with the site is extremely difficult, but we understand that armed individuals are still occupying the In Amenas operations site," it said.

    The Algerian interior ministry said heavily armed gunman in three vehicles had attacked the complex early on Wednesday morning. Local officials reported earlier that at least nine foreigners had been kidnapped and two people had been killed, inluding a French national.

    Five Japanese nationals working for the Japanese engineering firm JCG Corp were kidnapped as well as a French national, they said.

    A Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed that British nationals were caught up in a "terrorist incident" near the town of Ain Amenas at an oil installation near the Algerian border with Libya. "The British embassy in Algiers is liaising with the local authorities."

    The raid came after Islamists vowed to retaliate for France's military intervention in neighbouring Mali, where forces have been in action since last week against militants linked to al-Qaida.

    The attack has raised fears that the French action may prompt further Islamist revenge attacks on western targets in Africa, where al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb operates across borders in the Sahara desert, and in Europe.

    Algeria's official APS news agency said that one security guard had been killed and seven people were injured, including two foreigners.

    Also kidnapped was a Norwegian gas worker, the newspaper Bergens Tidende said, quoting the man's wife.

    "I received a phone call from my husband this morning and he said he was kidnapped," the woman said. The Norwegian foreign ministry could not confirm the report.

    Ireland's deputy prime minister, Eamon Gilmore, has called for the Irish captive's immediate release.

    "The government stands ready to use all the resources available to us to ensure that our citizen is released as soon as possible," he said. "I would ask that the family be allowed privacy at this difficult time."

    The Republic's department of foreign affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the family and was in close contact with its international partners and a wide range of other contacts in order to establish the facts.



    The claim that 41 hostages were being held was made in a call to the Nouakchott Information Agency, which often carries announcements from extremist groups.

    The caller did not give any further details, except to say that the kidnapping was carried out by "Those Who Signed in Blood," a group created to attack the countries participating in the ongoing offensive against Islamist groups in Mali.

    Typically there would be fewer than 20 foreign members of staff on the Ain Amenas site on a typical day, along with hundreds of Algerian employees.

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  2. #2
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    Strike on Islamists 'kills 34 hostages' | Bangkok Post: breakingnews

    Strike on Islamists 'kills 34 hostages'
    Algerian military forces killed 34 hostages and 15 of their Islamist kidnappers in an assault on a remote desert gas field on Thursday, the ANI news agency quoted a spokesman for the kidnappers as saying

    "Thirty-four hostages and 15 kidnappers were killed in an (air) raid by the Algerian army," the spokesman said in remarks that have not been independently confirmed.

    The source said Westerners were among the dead, but did not elaborate.

    Also killed was Abu al-Baraa, who led the Wednesday operation in which 41 foreigners and scores of Algerians were seized.

    The spokesman said Algerian aircraft attacked the kidnappers when they tried to "transport some of the hostages in vehicles to a location to the south."

    A group calling itself the "Signatories for Blood" claimed responsibility for the brazen attack at the In Amenas gas field near the Libyan border and a member of the outfit said Thursday that Algerian troops had attacked the site.

    The Islamists' attack on the gas complex dragged Algiers and several top Western powers with citizens among the hostages into the conflict, taking the spotlight off French and government troops battling the Islamists controlling Mali's north.

    The Algeria kidnappings that were in retaliation to the ongoing offensive next door saw two people killed and dozens of others from the United States, Europe and Asia taken hostage. Veteran Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian with ties to Al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility.

    "We demand the Algerian army pull out from the area to allow negotiations" to end the drama, one of the kidnappers, identified as Abu al-Baraa, told the Al-Jazeera news channel.

    He also said Algerian snipers had opened fire at the site where the hostages were held, injuring a Japanese national. Algeria has sent troops to the site, insisting it would not negotiate with the gunmen.

    Al-Baraa confirmed there were "around 41" hostages from several countries -- Austria, Norway, France, the United States, Britain, Romania, Colombia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and Germany.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  3. #3
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    Just been listening to the report on LBC.

    The facts are still hazy but sounds like a few hostages were killed in the rescue attempt.

    From the start I couldn't see a happy ever after ending to this.

    RIP to all that were killed for doing no more than working for a living.
    I would post pictures but life's too short.

  4. #4
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    Just heard that 30 of the 34 hostages died in the rescue attempt. What a fuck up!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    Just heard that 30 of the 34 hostages died in the rescue attempt. What a fuck up!
    Total and utter cluster-fuck. So sorry for those people and their families. RIP.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    I was watching sky news this morning is this Mike from Bangkok.
    Bloody looks like him.

  7. #7
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    Algerian crisis over after assault ends with death of seven remaining hostages

    A final assault by Algerian special forces on the group of jihadist hostage-takers who seized the In Amenas gas facility ended on Saturday with the deaths of the seven remaining foreign hostages. Also killed was the Niger terrorist believed to lead the al-Qaida splinter group's leader, Abdul Rahman al-Nigeri. Five Britons and one UK resident were believed to be among the 23 hostages killed during the standoff

    Sixteen foreign nationals – including two Americans, two Germans and a Portuguese – were freed during Saturday's operation.

    After a day of desperate uncertainty over the fate of the remaining British captives, David Cameron said the deaths would unite world leaders in the cause of defeating global terrorism. The prime minister added: "Our determination is stronger than ever to work with allies right around the world to root out and defeat this terrorist scourge and those who encourage it."

    The White House released a statement from Barack Obama, in which the US president said: "The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the families of all those who were killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Algeria. The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms. We have been in constant contact with Algerian officials and stand ready to provide whatever assistance they need in the aftermath of this attack.

    Announcing the latest casualties, foreign secretary William Hague said: "We believe that there are five British nationals and one British resident who are either deceased or unaccounted for, in addition to the one fatality that we had already confirmed."

    He added: "We are working hard to get definitive information about each individual. We are in touch with all of the families concerned."

    First reports suggested the hostages were killed by their captors as the attempt to rescue them was launched. Official sources quoted by the Algerian newspaper El Watan said the militants executed them after having given up hope of escape. The Niger terrorist believed to have led the al-Qaida splinter group behind the hostage-taking, Abdul Rahman al-Nigeri, was also killed during the final assault. Algeria's interior ministry said that 23 captives and 32 kidnappers had died during the four-day hostage crisis.


    The 11 surviving Islamist fighters from the group of 40 who attacked the desert plant last Wednesday were also killed in the raid on a workshop where they had taken their captives.

    The state oil and gas company, Sonatrach, said the hostage-takers, who identified themselves as Those Who Sign in Blood – a splinter group of al-Qaida in the Islamic Mahgreb – had boobytrapped the complex with explosives. Earlier on Saturday, Algerian special forces found 15 burned bodies at the plant. Details of the operation's bloody end emerged as it was revealed that the UK had offered assistance to the Algerian government, reportedly including British special forces. The offer was apparently rejected by Algeria.

    The hostage crisis began when two groups of Islamists attacked two buses carrying foreign workers then took hundreds of Algerians and expatriates hostage at the complex. The group had been demanding the cessation of a French military operation against Islamists in northern Mali as well as the release of two men jailed in the US.

    Last Thursday, Algerian special forces mounted an operation to take back the plant – to the initial dismay of the British and other governments, which were not notified in advance.

    According to early accounts to emerge from In Amenas, Saturday's raid was launched after Nigeri and his group threatened to blow up the plant and kill the remaining hostages. The decision to go in was made after attempts by the terrorists to sabotage and mine the plant were detected overnight on Friday. According to El Watan, the hostage- takers had tried to sabotage the gas installation by starting a fire, but it was quickly extinguished.

    "The terrorists were prepared to commit a collective suicide; the army's intervention led to their neutralisation. Unfortunately, the hostages were executed," the newspaper said.

    The crisis, Hague said, was a reminder of "the scale and ruthlessness of the terrorist threat that we and other nations face". One senior government source said that London had been hampered by a continuing lack of information from the Algerian government.

    Cameron, who had to postpone a major speech on Europe on Friday to handle the crisis, spoke to the Algerian prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal , who confirmed the military operation was "effectively ended".

  8. #8
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    some time ago I was offered a very good contract to work in Algeria

    how I laughed, and took a lesser paid one in Malaysia

  9. #9
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    25 more bodies found at Algerian gas plant — RT

    25 more bodies found at Algerian gas plant

    Published: 20 January, 2013, 16:00
    Edited: 20 January, 2013, 21:14


    A still image broadcast by Algeria's Ennahar TV on January 19, 2013.(AFP Photo / Ennahar TV)

    Twenty-five more bodies have been found at the gas complex in Algeria where a clearing up operation continues. It is unclear if all were hostages. Earlier it was reported there were a possible further 25 burned bodies of hostages found inside the plant.

    It comes as Al-Qaeda linked commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibly for the deadly hostage drama at the gas plant.

    Belmokhtar expressed readiness to negotiate with both Algerian and Western states, provided they cease their bombing campaign in Mali.

    The news that more bodies were found at the plant came just hours after the Algerian Interior Ministry warned that the death toll of foreign and Algerian workers taken hostage during the siege may increase.

    On Saturday night, following Algerian forces’ deadly 'final assault,' the number killed was put at 23 hostages and 32 captors.

    In total, special forces freed "685 Algerian workers and 107 foreigners," the Interior Ministry said.

    So far, Algerian authorities have not announced the nationalities of any of the 23 dead hostages. British, US, Norwegian and Japanese nationals have been reported missing.

    Though the hostage crisis in eastern Algeria has ended, the scene at the plant remains chaotic as rescuers struggle to find those reported missing. For now, the fates of nearly 30 people from the UK, the US, Norway Japan and Malaysia remain unclear.

    The UK Prime Minister confirmed Sunday that three British hostages had been killed, and that another three British nationals are also "believed dead."

    The UK Foreign Office has confirmed that some UK residents returned home overnight.

    Shortly after Cameron’s statement, Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that 22 British citizens who survived that hostage drama had flown home on charter flights organized by the government or by oil company BP.

    A Japanese engineering firm said Sunday that of the 17 Japanese nationals working at the plant, 10 are still missing and seven have been confirmed as safe.

    "As such, we are taking the government announcement that there were multiple Japanese killed extremely seriously," a JGC Corp. spokesperson said. The engineering firm was involved in gas production in the region.

    The Malaysian foreign ministry said that at least two of its nationals remain unaccounted for, and there was a "worrying possibility" that one of them was dead. The other three Malaysians who had been working at the plant had been confirmed safe.

    The whereabouts of five Norwegians is also unclear; several reports said that they may have been killed during the hostage crisis at the plant.

    The attackers' ranks reportedly spanned six nationalities, including Arabs, Africans and other non-African nations. Of the 32 militants killed, only three were Algerian.

    It was reported Saturday that one of the group's leaders, a veteran fighter from Niger called Abdul Rahman al-Nigeri, headed a group of militants who were killed during the final assault. The other group's leader, Abu al-Bara'a al-Jaza'iri, was reportedly killed earlier by the Algerian army at the gas field's residential complex. Reports also suggested that the head commander of the kidnappers, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is linked to a regional Al-Qaeda group, was not at the plant during the militants’ assault.

    Malian militants seized the In Amenas natural gas installation in the Algerian Sahara on Wednesday, taking hundreds of hostages, including many foreigners. The militant group said it conducted the raid in retaliation for France’s engagement in the Mali crisis.

    The militants also demanded the release of two terrorists held in the US in return for the hostages. One of the terrorists, Omar Abdel-Rahman, known as ‘The Blind Sheikh,’ played a role in the planning of the 9/11 attacks in 1993.

    A number of countries, including the UK and Japan, initially expressed their dissatisfaction over Algerian authorities’ response to the hostage situation because the rescue operation was ordered without consultation. Prime Minister Cameron and French President Francois Hollande later praised Algeria for taking appropriate action in what they called an “extremely difficult” situation.

    US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande said that responsibility for the hostage deaths lay with the “terrorists".

    “The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms,” Obama said after at least one American had been confirmed dead.

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