30 Hostages have died in a hostage crisis.Algerian forces stormed a desert gas complex to free hundreds of hostages but 30, including several Westerners, were killed in the assault along with at least 11 of their Islamist captors, an Algerian security source told Reuters.
The 30 hostages, including at least seven foreigners, were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces stormed a desert gas plant seized by Islamist militants, the source added
He said two Algerians, including the group’s leader Tahar Ben Cheneb, a prominent commander in the region, were among the dead, along with three Egyptians, two Tunisians, two Libyans, a Malian and a French citizen.
An Irish engineer who survived said he saw four jeeps full of hostages blown up by Algerian troops whose commanders said they moved in about 30 hours after the siege began because the gunmen had demanded to be allowed to take their captives abroad.
Algeria’s government spokesman made clear the leadership in Algiers remains implacably at odds with Islamist guerrillas who remain at large in the south years after the civil war in which some 200,000 people died. Communication Minister Mohamed Said repeated their refusal ever to negotiate with hostage-takers.
“We say that in the face of terrorism, yesterday as today as tomorrow, there will be no negotiation, no blackmail, no respite in the struggle against terrorism,” he told APS news agency.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who warned people to prepare for bad news and who cancelled a major policy speech on Friday to deal with the situation, said through a spokesman that he would have liked Algeria to have consulted before the raid.
A Briton and an Algerian had also been killed on Wednesday.