Results tagged “Algeria”
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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.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the emir of the Those who sign with Blood Brigade, claimed credit for the suicide assault on the In Amenas gas facility under al Qaeda's banner. At least 48 hostages have been killed, and the death toll is expected to rise. Six jihadists have been captured. The overall death toll from the siege has risen to 81.
Algerian forces stormed the In Amenas gas facility after jihadists from the 'Those who Sign with Blood Brigade' executed seven hostages. The facility is said to be under Algerian control. An estimated 30 hostages are said to be unaccounted for.