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While hard news is still scarce at this time, a day after it started, the hostage crisis at the Algerian gas plant in Ain Amenas has escalated to another level with some sort of raid having been conducted by the Algerian military, and an indeterminate number of hostages (both Algerian and foreign) and some of the hostage-takers arereported as having been killed.

Even in this era of virtually instant communications, there has been an incredible amount of confusion over this whole incident: the exact number and nationalities of the hostages has, apparently, never been accurately established: details of the "escape" or release of some of them have not been confirmed, all that is known (at this time: (13:30 ET Thurs 17 Jan) about the raid is thatit has taken place, and that people are dead, and that the situation is still, to a large degree, fluid.

Violence, as usual, has begotten more violence: we can only hope and pray that this awful situation will get resolved with as little bloodshed as possible.

 

[UPDATE] Al-Jazeera (via Reuters) reports that the "operation" at the In Amenas gas plant has been concluded, with, sadly, a number of casualties. As typical for this whole mess, hard numbers are lacking, butBBC reports that four foreign hostages were killed, more (indeterminate) have been freed, and that there have been casualties among the attacking militants as well (though not enumerated, either).

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Comment Preferences

  •  not a raid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C

    The Guardian is reporting that the Algerians were responding to the militants attempting to leave the area, according to Algerian Communications Minister Mohamed Said Belaid.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:21:28 AM PST

  •  cbs says raid has killed that many, Guardian says (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, Jay C

    'be prepared for bad news'...I think CBS maybe right...

    3 minutes ago:

    The official Algerian Press Service reports that the military operation at the gas field has concluded. The number of those wounded or killed was unavailable, the report said.

    Earlier today LeMonde picked up reports that the operation had ended, but those reports were later contradicted by the communications minister, who said military operations were ongoing.

    The Algerian Press Service did not previously report an end to hostilitie

    ...my bold...

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:00:34 PM PST

  •  Al Jazeera says many killed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, Jay C

    can't tell when the article released but was latest I think.

    Algeria quoted saying an 'important number of hostages' rescued, kidnapers said they released all Muslim hostages.

    Algeria sounds like they just flat out attacked the escaping convoy after shooting into the compound all night according to escaped hostages.

    Algeria sound like military shoots first, releases the PR  spin later.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:18:20 PM PST

    •  they recently (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, Jay C

      had a quasi civil war in Algeria between their islamists and the secularist military/establishment which the latter won only narrowly. It was an exceedingly bloody affair. I wouldn´t expect that they give each other any quarter nor that hostages matter much.

      what´s more, the facility attacked is said to account on its own for 18% of Algeria´s oil/gas export.

      Neither do the French see it any different: After confirming that there were French citizens among the hostages, Hollande said that the attack proved the justness of his decision to intervene in Mali.

  •  evening news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C

    still unofficial sources, such as this from El Pais, all backtracing to Reuters,

    El último balance, proporcionado por fuentes militares argelinas a Reuters, es de 30 rehenes muertos, de los cuales al menos siete son extranjeros. Las mismas fuentes señalan que hay dos japoneses, dos británicos y un francés entre los secuestrados fallecidos. El ministro Said también ha informado de que por lo menos 11 terroristas, entre los que se encontraba el líder de la célula, Abu al Baraa, han sido abatidos.
    30 or 31 hostages killed, among who 8 Algerians, 2 Japanese, 2 British, 1 French.

    At the same time "at least" 11 hostage takers killed, among who 1 French, and among who the leader of the group.

    According to the Algerian minister Said, the attackers came from Libya (which is near) and not from Mali (which is far away.

    H. Clinton appeals to all American outfits in the region to upgrade their security (whatever that means).  

  •  It's the local Algerian branch of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C

    radical islam doing what they do.

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