First Published: 2013-01-18

 

France terms Algeria hostage crisis wake-up call

 

Paris rejects criticism of Algiersí decision to send troops in to reclaim control of gas field from Islamist gunmen.

 

Middle East Online

PARIS - France on Friday described the Algeria hostage crisis as a wake-up call to the world over the threat posed by Islamic extremists operating across huge swaths of north and central Africa.

"What's happening in Algeria shows what is at stake for the entire international community with the presence of terrorist groups in this zone," Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot told reporters.

The spokesman also distanced France from British and Japanese criticism of Algeria's decision to send troops in to reclaim control of a gas field from Islamist gunmen, a decision that is feared to have resulted in many expatriate workers being killed.

"The Algerian authorities judged that they had no other choice but to launch an assault," Lalliot said.

"The situation was particularly complex given the scale of the hostage taking and it is still very confused."

The militants who attacked the site have described their action as retaliation for France's military intervention in neighbouring Mali against Islamist groups that control the north of the country.

 

New US law could sanction Hezbollah officials

ISIS-rebel clashes grip northeast Syria town

Hundreds of civilians flee Fallujah area in Iraq

Khamenei urges Iran lawmakers to resist Western 'schemes'

Turkey Muslims demand right to pray at Hagia Sophia

Iran delegation leaves Saudi Arabia without Hajj deal

Thousands of protesters gather in central Bagdad

99 lashes for partying Iranian students

100,000 Syrians trapped after shock IS advance in Aleppo

Iran sticking to nuclear deal: UN watchdog

Turkey party seeks constitutional change to boost president's powers

Turkey accuses US of 'hypocrisy' on Kurdish militia in Syria

Israel environment minister resigns from 'extremist government'

US-led coalition pounds IS near Raqa

Tunisia mulls allowing women to serve in army

US-backed fighters battle IS near Syria stronghold

Tunisia tourism sees 'slight recovery'

UN envoy calls for economic rescue plan for Yemen

Bahrain jails 19 for attacks on police

Up to 30 dead in shipwreck off Libya

UN says Syrians will 'starve' unless aid improves

Christian homes set ablaze in Egyptian village 'love story'

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott

Twin offensives on IS edge forward in Syria, Iraq

Private firms to help in hunt for Egyptair black boxes

New Israeli defence minister's tough talk to be put to the test

Syria most dangerous place for health workers

Concern for civilians trapped in Iraq's Fallujah

Brent rises past $50 a barrel

Iraq PM urges protesters to stay home

Juncker warns Ankara against migrant deal threats

Israeli air force carries out strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza

Annual Jewish pilgrimage starts in Tunisia

Sudan accuses UN official of 'false' reports on displaced

Egypt quashes prison sentences for 47 protesters

At least 5 drown off Libya coast

Coalition airstrike kills six Yemen civilians 'by mistake'

Erdogan chairs first meeting of new Turkey cabinet

Pope prays to 'convert hearts' of ISIS extremists

Egypt expels French journalist amid crackdown on media

Israeli rights group gives up on army complaints system

Hamas-led council backs executions without Abbas approval

Netanyahu forms ultra-nationalist Israel government

Major assaults target IS jihadists in Iraq, Syria

Yemen warring parties 'closer' to agreement