Results tagged “Algeria”
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Armed Islamists attacked a gas pipeline at Djebahia in the Bouira region, killing two guards and wounding five more before fleeing. Security forces launched a search of the area, near the Kabylie mountain refuge of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Captured Tunisian terrorist Abu Talha Tounsi told investigators that the attack on the Id Amenas gas facility was facilitated with logistical help from Islamists in Mali and Libya, and Egyptian Abu Bakr. Former BP driver 'Al Mandjal' guided the attackers to the facility; authorities are looking for him.
An Algiers court postponed the trial of former al Qaeda emir Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who claimed the recent assault on the Id Amenas gas field. He and nine other defendants, including Abu Zeid, whose forces seized the Malian town of Diabaly, will be tried in absentia in March. The African Union is considering training extra forces to combat Islamist terror threats, expanding counterterrorism laws, and improving information-sharing between governments.
Libyan Islamists are said to have helped the terrorist team that took over the Id Amenas refinery last week. A spokesman for the al Qaeda-linked group that mounted the attack said it was considered "successful by all standards." The commander of one of the two terrorist assault teams, Abu al-Bara'a al-Jaza'iri, may have survived.
Prime Minister Sellal said 37 foreigners from eight countries died in the siege at In Amenas; five hostages are missing. The al Qaeda-linked attackers were from Egypt, Canada, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Tunisia. A Canadian named Chedad coordinated the attack; another Canadian participated, as did a former driver at the gas facility. A French jihadist may also have participated. Algerian forces killed 29 militants and captured three, and "a few" may have escaped. Three American hostages were killed. The US had rejected an offer to swap hostages for two terrorists held in US prisons, "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and "Lady al Qaeda" Aafia Siddiqui.