PARIS, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Two French captives have managed to leave the gas facility in Algeria where they had been abducted along with dozens of other foreign workers by an al-Qaeda linked group, Franch Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Friday.
"We have news that two of them have returned. As for the other two, if there were two others, we do not have at this stage more information. we hope to have news early today," the minister added.
Speaking to the RTL radio, Valls said information from the In Amenas gas production complex was confused and he could not say wether other terrorists and hostages remain in the facility.
In an interview with the local broadcaster Europe 1, Alexandre Berceaux, one French hostage, an employee of a French CIS Catering company, said he survived thanks to supplies brought to him by Algerian colleagues. He said he had remained hidden for nearly 40 hours in a room separately from other foreign hostages.
"When the military came to get me, I did not know whether it was over. They arrived with (Algerian) colleagues, otherwise I would never have opened the door," said Berceaux.
On Thursday, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that French nationals were among the 41 foreigners kidnapped after Islamist militants attacked the gas field on Wednesday.
According to Algerian Press Agency (APS), the Algerian assault against the militants was ended after 600 Algerian workers and four foreigners were released.
Reports of casualties resulting from the attack have so far been confusing, with some claiming that dozens of hostages and their captor were killed in the operation.
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BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Algeria’s state news agency APS says the military operation to free hostages at a remote desert gas facility had ended. The country’s Communication Minister Mohamed Said said that the army had succeeded in neutralizing the gunmen. Full story
UN slams hostage taking in Algeria: spokesman
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations said here Thursday that the world body was aware of the reports that Islamist militants took dozens of foreign nationals hostages Wednesday night at a gas plant in southern Algeria, and it " utterly condemns any hostage taking."
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Algerian army controls gas-field compound after raid to rescue hostages: media
ALGIERS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Algerian army troops on Thursday managed to take control over the gas-field compound of Tingatourine in the southernmost province of Illizi, after launching a raid to rescue the hostages held there by an armed group linked to al-Qaida, the local TSA news agency reported.
Knaoui Sidi, a religious leader in the region of Tingatourine, was quoted by a report on TSA's website as saying that the army forces decided to raid the compound after the kidnappers attempted to escape with the hostages.Full story