Hostage situation turns deadly during second day of Algerian gas field takeover
- 7 foreign hostages were killed following a botched helicopter attack on a militant-used vehicle on Thursday. Government forces say that 8 gunmen aligned with militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar were also inside of a vehicle targeted by the helicopter, all of whom are believed to have been killed as well.
- 25 foreign hostages have escaped from their captors, though the number is heavily disputed by other media outlets from the region. In fact, Al-Jazeera claims the number couldn’t possibly be true because the network believes more than 30 hostages were killed in the helicopter attack. Regardless of debate on those free or killed, there does seem to be a consensus that AQIM forces still have 7 foreign hostages inside the complex.
- 150 Algerian workers are believed to still be inside of the complex, though it is unknown where and under what conditions they are being held by Belmokhtar’s militants. An estimated 600 workers fled the compound when their attackers arrived on Wednesday, leaving well over a hundred workers that are unfortunately viewed as expendable in the majority of these situations. source
January 17, 2013 // 14:30 // 10 months ago