Algeria: islamist leader, hostages to be killed one by one

Dozens held in oil facilities. Algiers refuses negotiation

16 January, 21:22

Attack on Amenas gas facility in Algeria Attack on Amenas gas facility in Algeria

(ANSAmed) - ROME - Referring to the terrorist attack today at the BP oil facilities in Algeria, in which an Algerian and a British citizen died , the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) leader Omar Oud Hamaha has told the German daily Die Welt that ''we have taken 41 British and French soldiers hostage and we will kill them one after another if the French attacks do not cease''. MOJWA is the group which Moctar Belmoctar joined after having fought with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). ''More and more Islamists from across the entire region are coming to help us,'' he added.

Algerian Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia said that the authorities ''will not meet the demands of terrorists and refuse to engage in any sort of negotiations'', according to APS. Algeria has always maintained an intransigent stance as concerns terrorists.

Meanwhile, some of the hostages being held have been released. According to APS, the latter are Algerian workers. However, approximately 150 Algerian employees of the French company CIS Catering are still being held in the BP facilities after the attack conducted by ''about 60'' attacked from neighbouring countries, said the company's managing director Régis Arnoux. ''I have about 150 Algerian workers who have been left free (to move around) on the base, but who cannot yet get out''.

According to what was reported to French newspaper Le Figaro by one of the hostages, the terrorists claim to have mined the base. ''They are holding about forty foreigners hostage, but we are not all in the same place,'' said the hostage contacted via telephone. After a very violent phase in which a number of shots were fired, the situation now seems to be ''calmer''. ''They have asked for water and food for about 60 people, and have loaded vehicles belonging to British Petroleum,'' he added, noting that the hostage takers are armed with rocket-launchers.

According to what has been reported to APS by Crisis Unit sources from Illizi, the foreigners taken hostage number about twenty and are for the most part Norwegian, British, American French and Japanese. (ANSAmed).

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