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.

 

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

US supports Israel with weapons, Gaza with sweet words

Syria Kurds battle jihadists killing nearly 50

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'