While details remain limited over yesterday’s shocking news about the death of more than 30 hostages and over 11 Islamist militants at the Algerian gas plant, a security source has said that among the seven foreign nationals killed are two Japanese, two Britons, and a Frenchmen. Eight other hostages were Algerian, but the identities and nationalities of the others, including the dozen or so who may have escaped, remain unclear.
JGC Corp., a Japanese engineering company whose employees were involved in the terrorist abductions, told the government’s Foreign Ministry this morning that it had confirmed the safety of three Japanese nationals, however another 14 were unaccounted for. Wednesday’s kidnapping by the al Qaeda-linked militants has also included nationals from the U.S., Norway, Belgium, Ireland, and Austria. The attackers have stated the abductions were a response to France’s operations in northern Mali. The Algerian military quickly had the facility surrounded, and while it said it would not negotiate, it was seen as quickly engaging in exchanges with the kidnappers.
Speaking from a diplomatic visit to Vietnam and Thailand, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated a task force had been formed in Tokyo to ensure that safety was the top priority. Following the news of the botched helicopter attack that took the lives of the hostages and militants, Abe urged the Algerian government to withdraw its troops and halt such actions. Shortly after the news broke about the deaths of hostages, the militants stated they still had seven hostages alive, including nationals from the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Belgium, but they would be killed if Algerian forces didn’t end their siege on the facility.
[via The West]
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