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Jan 18, 2013

Insight: Algerians suspect inside help in hostage raid

LONDON/ALGIERS (Reuters) – The In Amenas gas plant felt impregnable to many who worked there – walled in, hundreds of miles from anywhere and with the Algerian army constantly patrolling its desert approaches.

That was a mirage. Libya, an ex-police state turned arms bazaar and now open for jihad, lies just 50 empty miles away. And in any case, the enemy was probably already inside the gates.

Jan 18, 2013

Insight: Algerians suspect inside help in hostage raid

LONDON/ALGIERS (Reuters) – The In Amenas gas plant felt impregnable to many who worked there – walled in, hundreds of miles from anywhere and with the Algerian army constantly patrolling its desert approaches.

That was a mirage. Libya, an ex-police state turned arms bazaar and now open for jihad, lies just 50 empty miles away. And in any case, the enemy was probably already inside the gates.

Jan 18, 2013

Algerians suspect inside help in hostage raid

LONDON/ALGIERS, Jan 18 (Reuters) – The In Amenas gas plant
felt impregnable to many who worked there – walled in, hundreds
of miles from anywhere and with the Algerian army constantly
patrolling its desert approaches.

That was a mirage. Libya, an ex-police state turned arms
bazaar and now open for jihad, lies just 50 empty miles away.
And in any case, the enemy was probably already inside the
gates.

Jan 18, 2013

Foreigners still trapped in Sahara hostage crisis

ALGIERS/IN AMENAS, Algeria, Jan 19 (Reuters) – More than 20
foreigners were captive or missing inside a desert gas plant on
Saturday, nearly two days after the Algerian army launched an
assault to free them that saw many hostages killed.

The standoff between the Algerian army and al Qaeda-linked
gunmen – one of the biggest international hostage crises in
decades – entered its fourth day, having thrust Saharan
militancy to the top of the global agenda.

Jan 18, 2013

Survivors describe horrors of Algeria desert siege

ALGIERS, Jan 18 (Reuters) – A Frenchman spent a day and two
nights in terror, boarded up under his bed, certain he would be
found and killed. An Algerian radio operator saw his French
supervisor’s corpse. A Northern Irish engineer saw four
truckloads of other hostages blasted to pieces in an Algerian
military strike.

The siege of a natural gas plant deep in the remote Sahara
desert of Algeria is not yet over, but the stories of survivors
so far contain tales of shattering trauma that experts say may
never heal.

Jan 18, 2013

Foreigners still caught in Sahara hostage crisis

ALGIERS/IN AMENAS, Algeria (Reuters) – More than 20 foreigners were still either being held hostage or missing inside a gas plant on Friday after Algerian forces stormed the desert complex to free hundreds of captives taken by Islamist militants.

More than a day after the Algerian army launched an assault to seize the remote desert compound, much was still unclear about the number and fate of the victims, leaving countries with citizens in harm’s way struggling to find hard information.

Jan 18, 2013

Algeria ends desert siege, but dozens killed

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algerian forces stormed a desert gas complex to free hundreds of hostages but 30, including several Westerners, were killed in the assault along with at least 11 of their Islamist captors, an Algerian security source told Reuters.

Western leaders whose compatriots were being held did little to disguise their irritation at being kept in the dark by Algeria before the raid – and over its bloody outcome. French, British and Japanese staff were among the dead, the source said.

Jan 17, 2013

“We’ll kill infidels,” Algeria gunmen told hostage

ALGIERS, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Islamist gunmen who seized
hundreds of gas plant workers in the Sahara told Algerian staff
they would not harm Muslims but would kill Western hostages they
called “Christians and infidels”, a local man who escaped said
on Thursday.

In a rare eyewitness account of Wednesday’s dawn raid deep
in the desert, a local man employed at the facility told Reuters
the militants appeared to have good inside knowledge of the
layout of the complex and used the language of radical Islam.

Jan 17, 2013

Sahara hostage siege turns Mali war global

ALGIERS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Islamist fighters have opened an international front in Mali’s civil war by taking dozens of Western hostages at a gas plant in the Algerian desert just as French troops launched an offensive against rebels in neighboring Mali.

Nearly 24 hours after gunmen stormed the natural gas pumping site and workers’ housing before dawn on Wednesday, little was certain beyond a claim by a group calling itself the “Battalion of Blood” that it was holding 41 foreign nationals, including Americans, Japanese and Europeans, at Tigantourine, deep in the Sahara.

Jan 16, 2013

Sahara Islamists take hostages, spreading Mali war

ALGIERS/BAMAKO, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Islamist fighters seized
dozens of Western and Algerian hostages in a dawn raid on a
natural gas facility deep in the Sahara on Wednesday and
demanded France halt a new offensive against rebels in
neighbouring Mali.

Three people, among them one British and one French, were
reported killed, but details were sketchy and numbers of those
held at Tigantourine ranged from 41 foreigners – including
perhaps seven Americans as well as Japanese and Europeans – to
over 100 local staff, held separately and less closely watched.

    • About Lamine

      "I am based in Algiers, North Africa. I report on a wide range of issues including agriculture, oil and gas, terrorism, and telecoms. Before joining Reuters in 2003, i worked in several algerian dailies."
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