North Africa

Report: Algerian Kidnappers Said They Will Only Harm Non-Muslim Hostages

January 17, 2013

“A local man who escaped the gas field crisis, going by the name of Abdelkader, aged 53, tells Reuters that the gunmen told Algerian staff they would not harm Muslims but would kill Western hostages they called “Christians and infidels”.”

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Report: Jihadist Leader Zarqawi al-Mauritani and “Sons of the South for Islamic Justice” Taher Amir Killed in Algeria

January 17, 2013

“Among the militants killed were an up-and-coming Mauritanian jihadi leader, 18-year-old “Zarqawi al-Mauritani” (which might just mean the Mauritanian Zarqawi, after the late leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq), and the leader of the “Sons of the South for Islamic Justice”, Taher Amir (Lord Taher).”

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Analysis: Algerian Situation is One of the Biggest International Hostage Crises in Decades

January 17, 2013

“Twenty-five foreign hostages escaped and six were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces launched an operation to free them at a remote desert gas plant, Algerian sources said, as one of the biggest international hostage crises in decades unfolded.”

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Algerian Government: Troops Forced to Act in Hostage Raid After Negotiations Failed

January 17, 2013

“In the first official comments by the government on the day’s events, Communication Minister Mohamed Said was quoted as telling state news agency APS that many militants had been killed and that efforts to free foreign hostages were going on.”

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Hostage Situation in Algeria “Too Fluid To Comment On”

January 17, 2013

“Hillary Clinton, who is back to work after her blood clot scare, says that the situation in Algeria is still too fluid to comment on the hostage taking.”

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First Look: U.S. Flies Unmanned Surveillance Drone Over the Algerian Hostage Compound

January 17, 2013

“An unarmed Predator drone has flown over the BP plant where the hostages are being held to gather intelligence on the site, a U.S. official said Thursday. Satellite imagery was taken previously.”

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Analysis: Hostage Situation an Embarrassment for Algeria’s Military

January 17, 2013

“Only last Saturday, the Algerian, Libyan and Tunisian prime ministers issued a joint pledge to enhance security on their borders.”

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Algerian Government: Military Operation to Rescue Hostages Has Ended

January 17, 2013

“Reuters: Algerian state news agency APS quotes official saying military operation at gas facility is over.”

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Report: An Estimated 60 Hostages, Including Some Foreigners, Escaped from the Algeria Hostage Compound

January 17, 2013

“Details of the escape and the numbers involved remain unclear, but some 30-40 Algerians and 15-25 foreign nationals were reported to have escaped.”

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British Prime Minister David Cameron on the Algerian Hostage Crisis: Prepare for the Possibility of Bad News

January 17, 2013

“”The Algerian armed forces have now attacked this compound,” Cameron told BBC TV. “It is a very dangerous, a very uncertain, a very fluid situation and I think we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news ahead.”"

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British Petroleum (BP) Official Statement: Algerian Army Attempting to Gain Control of the Compound

January 17, 2013

“We have been informed by the UK and Algerian governments that the Algerian army is attempting to take control of the In Amenas site.”

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U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta: Algerian Government Did NOT Give U.S. Advance Notice of Hostage Rescue Attempt

January 17, 2013

“Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, told reporters travelling with him in London that American officials were scrambling to obtain details about the raid and indicated that Washington had not been informed beforehand.”

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U.S. State Department: Some Hostages in Algeria Fitted with Explosive-Laden Vests

January 17, 2013

“It is not clear whether the hostage-takers wore the suicide vests when they staged the action, but they did put them on some of the hostages, another U.S. official said.”

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Report: Algerian Kidnappers Demand Safe Passage to Libya; Algerian Government Denies Request

January 17, 2013

“Locals cited by APS said the army freed about 600 Algerian workers. Thirty Algerian workers escaped, and they were recovered by helicopters flying over the site.”

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French Defense Minister Expressed “Total Confidence” the Algerian Government to Resolve the Hostage Situation

January 17, 2013

“France has total confidence in the Algerian government to resolve a standoff at a desert gas facility where dozens of Western and Algerian hostages are being held, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday.”

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