Algeria: Kidnappers threaten more attacks

2013-01-21 14:22
The Amenas gas field in eastern Algeria near the Libyan border where Algerian troops surrounded Islamists holding foreign hostages. (Picture: AFP)

The Amenas gas field in eastern Algeria near the Libyan border where Algerian troops surrounded Islamists holding foreign hostages. (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dubai - The Mulathameen Brigade that claimed the mass hostage-taking in Algeria threatened to carry out more attacks unless Western powers ended what it called, an assault on Muslims in neighbouring Mali, according to the SITE monitoring service.

In a statement on Monday, the al-Qaeda linked group also said the hostage-takers had offered negotiations on freeing the captives seized at a gas plant deep in the Sahara but the Algerian authorities used military force, SITE reported.

The statement was published by the Mauritania-based Nouakchott News Agency, according to SITE, which tracks statements by militants.

The group said it would attempt further such attacks if there was no halt to Western military involvement in northern Mali, which militant groups call Azawad and where French forces are fighting to end control by Islamist groups.

"We promise all the countries that participated in the Crusader campaign against the Azawad region that we will carry out more operations if they do not reverse their decision," the statement said.

The hostage death toll from the four-day siege at the gas plant has risen to almost 60.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal is expected to give details on Monday about one of the worst international hostage crises in decades, in which American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian workers were killed or are missing.

The fighters seized the base on Wednesday, capturing a plant that produces 10% of Algeria's natural gas exports, and a residential barracks nearby. They demanded an end to French air strikes against Islamist fighters in Mali that had begun five days earlier.

Misgivings

"We opened the door for negotiations with the Westerners and the Algerians, and granted them safety from the beginning of the operation, but one of the senior [Algerian] intelligence officials confirmed to us in a phone call that they will destroy the place with everyone in it," SITE quoted the statement as saying.

The siege turned bloody on Thursday when the Algerian army opened fire saying fighters were trying to escape with their prisoners.

Survivors said Algerian forces fired at several trucks in a convoy carrying both hostages and their captors.

The Brigade said that at one point the gunmen decided to move the hostages to a factory on the site, SITE said.

"The helicopters bombed the convoy that was moving the hostages to the factory and destroyed it including everyone inside, in a barbaric and direct method of killing.

"This indicates the army's indifference to preserving the lives of the detained, as it claims."

The statement said its fighters continued to offer negotiations.

"The Algerian army did not respond to these legitimate demands; rather, they started storming the gas factory, which led to the killing of the hostages."

Western leaders have said responsibility for the deaths lies with the hostage-takers.

Nevertheless, some governments whose nationals were taken captive have expressed misgivings about the incident, in particular about Algeria's apparent decision to proceed with military action without informing them beforehand.

Veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the hostage-taking by his Mulathameen Brigade - whose name means "The Masked Ones" - in the name of al-Qaeda, in a video cited by the Mauritanian news website Sahara Media on Sunday.

He said about 40 attackers took part in the raid, roughly matching the government's figures for fighters killed or captured.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  abdelmalek sellal  |  france  |  mali  |  algeria  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

UN worried about CAR clashes

2014-12-23 05:00
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is hard to keep some sort of balance when the natural rhythm has flown out the window. The best thing to do is try not to keep...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.