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.

 

Turkey sends more tanks into Syria to bolster military offensive

Tunisia swears in new premier after approval from parliament

Turkey arrests former top diplomats over failed coup

Yemen shelling kills three-year-old boy in Saudi border region

In Egypt, ecstatic pilgrims leave to perform hajj

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in occupied West Bank

11 Turkish police officers killed in Cizre bomb attack claimed by PKK

French court suspends burkini ban

Tears as evacuation starts in Syria's Daraya

Turkey PM denies Syria operation singling out Kurds

Kerry, Lavrov meet for talks on Syria

Tunisia parliament to vote on cabinet proposal

Kuwait arrests govt employee promoting IS online

Turkey shells Kurdish fighters in Syria after warning

Oil prices fall on Saudi doubt on output cut

Jeddah meeting bears no fruit on Yemen conflict

Kerry in Saudi for talks on regional conflicts

UN Syria envoy expects 'impact' from Kerry-Lavrov meeting

Iraq parliament votes to impeach defense minister

Russia says will cooperate in Syria chemical attacks probe

Iraq forces take key town south of Mosul

Hamas to leave name off ballot in Palestinian elections

Iranian navy in 'unsafe' intercept of US destroyer

Three wounded in PKK attack on Turkey opposition chief's convoy

Erdogan to inaugurate Istanbul's third Bosphorus bridge

China to train Syrian troops

Turkey reinforces ground forces across border into Syria

Turkey says 'every right' to intervene if Kurds fail to withdraw

UN rights chief urges international probe of Yemen violations

Tunisia unity government to remain unchanged

Raped teen who took own life finally gets justice in Morocco

Syria rebels backed by Turkey tanks 'seize' Jarabulus

Libya's presidential council to present new cabinet

Syria regime, Kurds blast Turkish incursion

Biden: Washington told Kurds not to cross Euphrates

Israeli court shuns plea to unchain Palestinian hunger striker

Saudi police foil mosque suicide bombing

Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov in Geneva on Friday

Kurdish forces in Syria prime target for Turkey

Drone strike kills 2 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Iran yet to decide on OPEC limits

Iraq forces advance south of Mosul

Muslim women say swimsuit uproar is 'absurd'

Gaza animals leave 'world's worst' zoo

Hasakeh: key flashpoint for Syria regime, Kurds