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

kalahari.com

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
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

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid 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

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...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.