Canadian held before Algeria attack – report

2013-04-04 07:43
Road sign near the In Amenas gas field. (Picture: AFP)

Road sign near the In Amenas gas field. (Picture: AFP)

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

Ottawa - A Canadian close to two countrymen implicated in an attack on a gas plant in Algeria that left dozens dead was detained in North Africa before the assault, public broadcaster CBC reported on Wednesday.

But the man's brother denied that he had been arrested, telling Global News he was in the region and had talked to him by phone on Sunday.

At least 38 hostages - 37 foreigners and one Algerian - and 29 militants were killed during a days-long siege and rescue operation by the Algerian army following the January 16 attack by jihadists on the In Amenas plant.

Citing "international intelligence sources", the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said Aaron Yoon, aged about 24, left Canada last year with two former high school friends from London, Ontario - Xris Katsiroubas, who hails from a Greek Orthodox family but converted to Islam, and Ali Medlej.

Katsiroubas and Medlej died during the siege, possibly by blowing themselves up.

Yoon, who grew up Catholic but converted to Islam, was jailed before the attack, CBC reported, without mentioning where.

The group consisted of four individuals, CBC said, but the fate of the fourth is unclear.

But Yoon's brother, who reportedly spoke with two Global News journalists on condition of anonymity, denied the story, saying he had spoken with Yoon on Sunday.

Terrorist attacks

"He's not in trouble," Yoon's brother told the broadcaster. "I believe him. I have no evidence otherwise."

The brother said he spoke with Yoon by phone on Sunday after being told by Canadian police that Katsiroubas and Medlej were dead.

"He was totally shocked. He didn't know that happened. He seemed genuine," he said.

According to the brother, Yoon is travelling in North Africa to learn Arabic and study the Koran, not engage in terrorist attacks - though he did meet up with his two old friends in the region prior to their deaths.

Commenting on Yoon's conversion to Islam, his brother said: "It was a positive thing. I obviously had questions, a few conversations about it... He was just a better person, much more respectful."

"It's because they were friends in London and met overseas, and he was [one of] the last people that Xris and Ali spoke with," the brother said. "He wasn't in the attack."

- SAPA
Read more on:    algeria  |  canada  |  abductions  |  north africa
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
0 comments
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
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

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

Grand Theft Auto 5

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

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...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.