Revenge for Mali.
(Reuters) - Islamist militants attacked a gas production field in southern Algeria on Wednesday, kidnapping at least seven foreigners and killing a French national, local and company officials said.
An al Qaeda-linked group operating in the Sahara said it had carried out the raid on the In Amenas facility, Mauritania’s ANI news agency reported.
The field, located close to the border with Libya, is operated by a joint venture including BP, Norwegian oil firm Statoil and Algerian state company Sonatrach.
Five Japanese nationals working for the Japanese engineering firm JCG Corp were kidnapped as well as a French national, local officials said. An Irishman was also seized, the Irish government said.
A French national was killed in the attack, a local source said, but it was unclear if the victim was the same person who had been kidnapped.
The foreigners were taken from In Amenas in the morning. Algerian troops had mounted an operation to rescue the hostages and had also surrounded the workers’ camp at Tiguentourine, a local source said.
(Fox News) — Islamist militants from Mali have attacked and taken control of a natural gas field partly owned by BP in southern Algeria, killing two and reportedly taking 41 people hostage, including seven Americans.
A group called the Katibat Moulathamine, or the Masked Brigade, called a Mauritanian news outlet to say one of its subsidiaries had carried out the operation on the Ain Amenas gas field, taking 41 hostages from nine or 10 different nationalities.
The group’s claim could not be independently substantiated and typically there would be fewer than 20 foreign staff members on site on a typical day, along with hundreds of Algerian employees.
The group said the attack was in revenge for Algeria’s support of France’s operation against Al Qaeda-linked Malian rebels groups far to the southeast. It said it was holding dozens of foreigners hostage.