See earlier BooMan’s frontpage diary – Carnage in Algeria.
- It’s early, yet, but it looks like the Algerian government screwed the pooch and went and got a bunch of Western oil/gas workers killed who were
being held hostage by jihadists. And they didn’t even call Obama or Cameron to warn them they were going to launch a raid. Big mistake.
After a number of comments I added my follow-up diary – 770 Workers Rescued as Algerian Hostage Crisis Ends In Violent Deaths.
Analysts say it may have been a well planned suicide mission as the terrorists were set to murder as many foreign nationals as possible and not harm Algerian workers. The militants had inside help from people positioned well ahead of time in jobs at the gas facility as bus drivers and guards. The militants had mines and other explosives and were determined to blow up the gas facility. Many foreign workers were summarily executed. With an Algerian army base nearby and the knowledge the government would not negotiate their demands for prisoner release, it could have been a suicide mission for a political purpose.
“It is important to put on record the scale of what happened.
There is still some uncertainty around the precise facts, but we believe that in total there were some 800 employees working at the In Amenas site at the time of the attack, about 135 of whom were foreign nationals, over 40 were taken hostage.
… We should also recognise all that the Algerians have done to confront this dreadful attack.
I am sure the House will understand the challenges that Algeria faced in dealing with over 30 terrorists bent on killing innocent people in a large and extremely remote and dangerous industrial complex.
This would have been a most demanding task for security forces anywhere in the world and we should acknowledge the resolve shown by the Algerians in undertaking it.
Above all the responsibility for these deaths lies squarely with the terrorists.”
(France24) – At least 37 foreign workers, one Algerian national and 29 of the hostage-takers were killed at the gas plant siege in southern Algeria last week, according to Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal. Five foreigners remained “missing”.
According to Sellal, the special forces – “trained for just this type of operation” – had tried to negotiate with the Islamist group, who he said had travelled to the BP gas plant from northern Mali. Sellal stated however that “their demands were unacceptable.” The prime minister added that as the crisis escalated the hostage-takers made it clear that they planned to “blow up the plant”, prompting Algerian forces to launch a final and bloody assault.
Canadian coordinated terror attack
Of the hostage takers, 29 were killed and three were captured. [11 Tunesians, 3 Algerians, others from Canada, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Mauretania and Mali] The terrorist attack was coordinated by an Islamist holding Canadian nationality, according to Sellal, who said the deaths of the hostages were a “collective murder” for which only the terrorists were responsible.