First Published: 2013-01-21

 

Algeria says 11 Tunisians among 32 Islamist hostage-takers

 

Sellal says eleven of 32 Islamist gunmen who attacked desert gas complex in southeastern Algeria seizing hundreds of hostages were Tunisian.

 

Middle East Online

Final death toll from siege: 37 foreigners, one Algerian

ALGIERS - Eleven of the 32 Islamist gunmen who attacked a remote desert gas complex in southeastern Algeria seizing hundreds of hostages were Tunisian, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said on Monday.

"Eleven Tunisians and three Algerians were among the group of 32 terrorists who attacked the Tiguentourine gas complex last Wednesday," Sellal told a news conference in Algiers, where he gave a final death toll from siege of 37 foreigners and an Algerian.

"Thirty-seven foreigners of eight different nationalities," were killed during the four-day siege, Sellal told news conference, without specifying their nationalities.

One Algerian also lost his life, bringing the giving an overall toll of 38, while five foreign foreigners were still missing, he added.

Sellal said 29 of the hostage-takers were killed in the four-day crisis, which ended on Saturday with Algerian forces storming the remaining part of the complex still in militant hands.

The other kidnappers who attacked the In Amenas gas complex, which lies about 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of Tunisia, close to the Libyan border, were Canadian, Egyptian, Malian, Nigerian and Mauritanian.

During the army's final assault on the plant, Sellal said the remaining gunmen executed several hostages by shooting them in the head.

The interior ministry had on Saturday given a preliminary toll of 23 foreign and Algerian hostages killed during the siege, which ended on Saturday with Algerian forces storming the remaining part of the complex still in militant hands.

The ministry said 685 Algerian and 107 foreign hostages were freed.

Sellal also said that the 32 militants who overran the In Amenas gas facility, taking hundreds of workers hostage, came from northern Mali. Twenty-nine of them were killed and three arrested.

He said the group's leader was Mohamed el-Amine Bencheneb, an Algerian militant known to the country's security services, and that he was killed during the army's assault.

The alleged mastermind of the hostage-taking, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, had said in a video posted online that the attack was carried out by 40 fighters from the Muslim world and "European countries".

His Al-Qaeda-linked group "Signatories in Blood" threatened to stage attacks on nations involved in the French-led operation to evict Islamists from Algeria's neighbour Mali, and said it had been open to negotiations.

Tunisia's Islamist movement, which was banned under the regime of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has carried out numerous attacks since he was ousted in a popular uprising, including on the US embassy and a neighbouring American school in Tunis last September.

 

Libya rivals meet for unity deal talks in Morocco

IS 'bulldozed' Iraq’s historic Nimrud

Assad likens himself to Superman

Libya urges UN to lift arms embargo

Dubai launches first 3D pavement art festival

Jewish tradition could help struggling Gaza farmers

Egypt Interior Minister replaced in cabinet reshuffle

Saudi Arabia urges coalition to fight jihadists 'on ground'

Algeria criminalises violence against women

Sisi replaces interior minister in cabinet reshuffle

Executions set 'unprecedented' pace in Saudi Arabia

Libya declares more than 10 oil fields ‘non-operational’ after IS attacks

Syria exiled opposition chief seeks to unite dissidents

US warns against sectarianism in Tikrit offensive

Thousands of Filipinos remain in Libya despite perilous situation

South Sudan peace talks hit deadlock ahead of deadline

Kerry seeks to allay Gulf states’ fears on Iran

Turkey will not take part in Iraq offensive to retake Mosul

Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen freed

Mali rebel groups urged to sign peace deal

At least 34 dead in Syria rebel attack on intel HQ

Libya declares force majeure at 11 oil fields

Iran’s regional influence ‘not negiotiable’

Women protest for peace ahead of Israel election

Concerns rise over civilians’ safety in Iraq military operation

UN invites Libya leaders for crisis talks in Algeria

Israel to double water quota to Gaza ‘within days’

Abbas: Palestinians ready to talk with "whoever" wins Israel election

Fire at Cairo convention centre injures 19 people

US, Iran wrap up three days of intense nuclear negotiations

EU reviews policy in response to Ukraine, Arab Spring

IAEA delegation to hold talks in Tehran on March 9

Tunisia rescues 86 African migrants at sea

Saudi executing at 'unprecedented' pace

Turkish Airlines plane skids off Nepal runway

British former marine 'killed' in Syria

Iran slams boring Netanyahu's continuous lie-spreading in US speech

'Saudi prince' New York apartment on sale for $48.5m

Libyan militants take control of two oil fields

Washington lauds Iran's role in Iraq

Netanyahu warns Congress: Nuclear deal will free Iran to develop weapons

Bottle of juice vs. outspoken critic of Israel domestic policies

UN approves sanctions regime for South Sudan

Arab states to mull creation of joint force against ‘Islamic State’

Libya tit-for-tat airstrikes target airport, oil terminal