Death toll rises at Algerian gas field

21 January 2013

A further 25 hostages found dead after search of gas facility by Algerian security services

The bodies of another 25 hostages have been discovered at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria.

The death toll now stands at 48 and government officials say there are still 20 hostages from the four-day siege unaccounted for.

The siege ended on 19 January and initial reports from the Algeria Press Service (APS) stated that 23 hostages and 32 Islamist terrorists had been killed after two assaults by Algeria’s People’s National Army (ANP) Special Forces.

The nationalities of some of the hostages are still not confirmed, but the dead include citizens from Japan, the UK, Norway and the US.       

The siege began on 16 January with an attack on a bus carrying workers to an airfield. The situation escalated when the terrorists then attacked an accommodation compound and main gas-processing area. 

In a statement, the terrorists said the attack was in response to French military intervention in neighbouring Mali against Islamist insurgents.

The In Amenas gas field is operated by the UK’s BP in partnership with Norway’s Statoil and the Algerian state-owned oil major Sonatrach. It is located close to Algeria’s border with Libya, about 40 kilometres southwest of the town of In Amenas and 1,300km southeast of Algiers.

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