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Africa North
BREAKING: Some Algerian Hostages Now Wearing Bomb Vests, Foreign And Local Hostages Escape, More
As of 7:00 a.m. ET. Please add updates to the comment thread for ease of organization.
[Ynet] Report: 150 Algerian hostages released

Security sources in Algeria told Al Arabiya that the al-Qaeda affiliated organization which took over a gas field in the country released 150 Algerian hostages.

According to the report, the armed militia holds captive 41 foreign nationals, kidnapped in retaliation to the French military operation against al-Qaeda in Mali.

Some Algeria hostages forced to wear explosives

Islamist gunnies holding dozens of Western hostages at a gas plant in Algeria have forced some to wear belts strapped with explosives, French television said on Thursday, quoting one of the hostages.

La Belle France 24 said the man also told the channel during a telephone call late on Wednesday that the hostage-takers were heavily armed and had threatened to blow up the natural gas facility if the Algerian army tried to free the hostages.

30 Algerian hostages escape gas plant

Thirty Algerian workers have managed to escape from the desert gas facility where dozens of hostages are being held hostage by an al Qaeda-affiliated group, Algeria's official APS news agency said on Thursday.

It did not say how they eluded their captors. (Rooters)

15 foreigners escape gas plant in Algeria

Fifteen foreign hostages escaped the desert siege of a gas pumping station in Algeria, Algeria's Ennahar television reported on Thursday.

An Algerian security source said the gunnies, who stormed the gas facility on Wednesday, were demanding safe passage out with their captives. The gunnies say they have been holding as many as 41 foreigners as well as scores of Algerians. Ennahar said 40 Algerians had been freed, mainly women working as translators. (Rooters)

Algeria: 20 hostages escape, including Americans

Algerian official says at least 20 foreigners have beat feet from Sahara gas plant where Islamist gun-hung tough guys are holding dozens of hostages; French TV reports some hostages were forced to wear boom belts

An Algerian security official said Thursday at least 20 foreigners have beat feet from the natural gas plant deep in the Sahara desert in Algeria where Islamist forces of Evil are holding dozens of hostages.

The official said those escaping included Americans and Europeans. He did not give any further details.

According to a French television report, which quoted one of the hostages, the forces of Evil have forced some of the captives to wear belts strapped with explosives.

La Belle France 24 said the man also told the channel during a telephone call late on Wednesday that the hostage-takers were heavily armed and had threatened to blow up the gas facility if the Algerian army tried to free the hostages.

"They attacked the two sites at the same time. They went inside and once it was daylight they gathered everybody together," the man, who sounded calm, said in the only part of the phone call that La Belle France 24 aired.

Gunmen stormed the gas pumping site and workers' housing before dawn on Wednesday and a group calling itself the "Battalion of Blood" has claimed it is holding 41 foreigners including Americans, Japanese and Europeans at Tigantourine, deep in the Sahara.

Earlier Thursday security sources in Algeria told Al Arabiya that the gunnies released 150 Algerian hostages.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed one Briton had been killed and "a number" of others were being held hostage. Algerian media said an Algerian was killed in the assault. Another local report said a Frenchie had died.

Led by an Algerian veteran of guerrilla wars in Afghanistan, the group demanded La Belle France halt its week-old intervention in Mali, an operation endorsed by Western and African allies who fear that al-Qaeda, flush with men and arms from the defeated forces of Libya's Muammar Qadaffy
...Custodian of Wheelus AFB for 42 long years until he was ejected from the gene pool by his indignant citizens...
, is building a haven in the desert.
Posted by:trailing wife

#11  Cell phones and laptops reveal an awful lot, in the right hands...
Posted by: trailing wife   2013-01-17 21:41  

#10  they really need to kill each and every one of these Islamists. No "arrests", no "escaped".

I think they need to arrest these people to find out where they're getting financing, and then arrange for hit teams to kill the financiers. Getting accurate information will require multiple captives for corroboration, so they really need as many alive as they can get. Maimed is fine, as long as they're lucid. Obviously they'll also need organizational details such as names, locations and so on, so that relatives and friends can be used as hostages and harmed if members at large do not become turncoats in service of the regime. Such are the tools of repression available to a non-Western state.
Posted by: Zhang Fei   2013-01-17 19:57  

#9  they really need to kill each and every one of these Islamists. No "arrests", no "escaped".
Posted by: Frank G   2013-01-17 14:03  

#8  sorry ... bad math. 25 rescued, 6 killed, 10 unaccounted for right now. looks like the Islamists tried to run with the hostages in vehicles, and the Algerian Army cut them off.
Posted by: Raider   2013-01-17 13:12  

#7  news is saying 25 hostages rescued (or escaped), and six killed. but that leaves 16 unaccounted for.
Posted by: Raider   2013-01-17 12:46  

#6  The hostages are as good as dead. Forget them.

Kill the baddies.
Posted by: Muggsy Mussolini1226   2013-01-17 11:32  

#5  Live Page: Algeria hostage siege

An Algerian news website, TSA, says the army is now in full control of the gas facility. No figures available on number of casualties, the website adds.
Posted by: tipper   2013-01-17 10:48  

#4  4 foreign hostages freed in Algeria operation, report says
The Algerian government rejected a demand from the Islamist militants who seized the hostages for safe passage to nearby Libya.

"The authorities do not negotiate, no negotiations," Qabliyeh said on state television after confirming the demands Wednesday night
Posted by: tipper   2013-01-17 10:29  

#3  very good news if some people escaped. best possible move they could have made. they will be the survivors.
Posted by: Raider   2013-01-17 10:07  

#2  Fox just said: Algerian Helos are strafing the plant - some hostages hurt
Posted by: Frank G   2013-01-17 08:16  

#1  From the Jerusalem Post:

Algerian helicopters attack plant, two hostages hurt

[Rooters] 01/17/2013 14:21 NOUAKCHOTT - Two Algerian army helicopters attacked the gas complex where Islamists have seized dozens of foreigners and Algerians, injuring two of the Japanese hostages, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported, citing one of the kidnappers.

It was not possible to independently verify the report.

ANI has close contacts with the al Qaida-linked group that has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping in retaliation for France's attack on Islamists in neighboring Mali.
Posted by: trailing wife   2013-01-17 08:07