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Five Britons unaccounted for in Algeria: Hague
January 21, 2013
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LONDON: Five Britons and one UK resident have been killed or are unaccounted for after the conclusion of the Algeria kidnap crisis, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

This was in addition to the one British fatality which had already been confirmed, the foreign secretary said.

Prime Minister David Cameron said “the whole country shares my sympathy and concern” for those involved.

“It is our priority now to get people home as quickly as possible and to look after the survivors,” he added.

Cameron said he was told in a phone call from his Algerian counterpart that the hostage crisis at the remote In Amenas desert gas facility had ended.

The Algerian Interior Ministry later confirmed that 23 hostages and 32 terrorists had been killed, and that 107 foreign workers and 685 local employees had been released.

“There is no justification for taking innocent life in this way,” Cameron said.

“Our determination is stronger than ever to work with allies right around the world to root out and defeat this terrorist scourge and those who encourage it.”

The families of those who were taken hostage had been contacted, said Hague.

He added: “We understand that the site is not yet fully safe because of hazards such as booby traps, and so they are still working on that.

“We’ve had a team in the vicinity today, led by our ambassador who went down from Algiers, they have been helping British nationals to get away from the area, working with other countries and co-ordinating with the Algerian authorities.”

BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley said the hostage incident was a “distressing and horrific time.”

“At the time of the events in Algeria, there were 25 nationalities represented on the work site,” he said. “BP had 18 expatriates, and today we are able to confirm the location and safety of 14 of those people.

“Sadly, we’re not able to confirm the locations or circumstances of four of our employees. Tragically, we have grave fears that we may have fatalities from this group.”

Two of those rescued had sustained injuries, but these were not life-threatening.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond blamed militants for the deaths of hostages following reports that 11 captors and seven hostages had died in an army assault.

Speaking before Hague’s announcement, Hammond said the deaths were “appalling and unacceptable.”

Agencies
 

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