“Algerian forces are scouring the Sahara desert for five foreigners missing since Islamist militants attacked a remote natural gas plant, an official said Tuesday.
An al-Qaida-affiliated band of fighters attacked the vast natural gas complex on Wednesday, killing 37 hostages, including an Algerian security guard, in a four-day standoff that ended after Algerian special forces stormed the plant.
The Ain Amenas gas plant, jointly run by BP, Norway’s Statoil and the Algerian state oil company, is located deep in the Sahara, some 800 miles from the coast, with few population centers nearby.
The desert in the area is flat rocky and featureless and while roasting hot in the summer, during the winter months the mercury drops to 3 C (37 F) at night, with average highs of 18 C (64 F) during the day.
BP said that the operations at the plant are still suspended.