Hostage in Algeria fears a heavy toll after military assault
Countries whose nationals were taken hostage with hundreds of local on-site gas feared, Friday, Jan. 18, a heavy balance of the massive assault forces in Algiers against the Islamist commando came from neighboring Libya.
Thursday night no official report has filtered precise on this military operation which was not yet known if it was actually completed in mid-evening on the site in the Sahara Amenas 1 300 km southeast of the capital as announced by the Algerian news agency APS. In the night, the Algerian special forces had regained control of the "basis of life" on the site, but not from the factory, where some would be cut hostage takers.
See: Map of site Tiguentourine
The human toll of the attack remains uncertain. Reuters mentions thirty casualties among the hostages, one French, and one of a dozen activists, including another French. Unconfirmed at the moment.
A spokesman for the katiba "Signatories by blood," the armed Islamist group behind the hostage, joined by the agency and the Mauritanian ANI Qatari Al-Jazeera said that the operation was fifty killed, 34 hostages and 15 kidnappers.
Read: What do we know about the hostage crisis in Algeria?
7: 30 pm: Manila indicates that twenty of its nationals are on site gas. A Filipino managed to escape with a Japanese before the assault forces in Algeria. Slightly wounded, he is en route to Algiers for treatment. The authorities are trying to find out if citizens are among those killed or wounded, after the attack, but the number of companies and subcontractors working on the site makes it difficult to audit work.
7 h 15: According to RTL, a plane from Algiers landed in London on Thursday evening, on board fifty people, including two French, from the gas site.
6 h 20: Irish hostage "safe." One of the hostages on site gas, a 36 year old man holds an Irish passport and originating in the British province of Northern Ireland, is free and "safe", announced Thursday evening the Irish authorities . His brother said that he had to wear a necklace of explosives around his neck during his detention. He managed to escape when the convoy was carrying was taken under fire by the Algerian army.
2:00: Fourteen Japanese hostages missing. Three Japanese hostages were released, but 14 are still missing, possibly held by armed Islamists on site gas, according to Tokyo. The Japanese company JGC who work on the site has transmitted this information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, did not give details as to whether these three persons of Japanese "safe" were released or if they have managed to escape the hostage. "Regarding the other 14, there are conflicting reports and we have not been able to confirm their situation," he added. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday decided to shorten his Asian tour because of the hostage crisis.
1 hours: The head of the Islamist commando was killed, identity confusion. A spokesman for the author of the kidnapping group announced that the head of the commando, Abu al-Baraa was killed Thursday by Nouakchott Mauritanian Information Agency (ANI). Reuters, citing a security source in Algeria, for its part, reported that the group leader is the Algerian Tahar Ben Cheneb and he was killed.
0 h 47 Washington "not aware in advance." The United States had not been informed in advance of the intention of the Algerian authorities to conduct an operation in an attempt to free the hostages, said a U.S. official. "We were not aware of the operation in advance," he said U.S. officials had "strongly encouraged" the Algerian authorities to make the hostages' safety priority.
0 h 27: Continued fighting. According to the website Algérie1, citing sources, the fighting continued in the complex gas against an indeterminate number kidnappers. "It is the terrorists who initially came out of the factory with four cars in front of the hostages and attack helicopters were able to only partly fold inward with hostages whose number is not known, "says the site. According Algérie1, Algerian special forces prepared to invest the site.
oh 15: Italy condemns' despicable act of terrorism. " Italy Thursday condemned a "despicable act of terrorism" and confirmed its commitment to fight "all forms of extremism," the voice of his Foreign Minister, Giulio Terzi.