37 foreigners killed in Algeria hostage crisis: PM
ALGIERS - Agence France-Presse
A video grab from footage broadcast by Algeria's "Canal Algerie" on January 20, 2013 shows a delegation of Algerian and Japanese officials along with others visiting the Tiguentourine Gas Plant deep in the Sahara of southern Algeria, located about 50 km (30 miles) from the town of In Amenas. AFP PhotoThirty-seven foreigners of eight different nationalities were killed during the hostage crisis at an Algerian gas plant that was overrun by Islamist gunmen, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said on Monday.
"Thirty-seven foreigners of eight different nationalities," were killed during the four-day siege, Sellal told a news conference in Algiers, adding that an Algerian was also killed, giving an overall toll of 38.
He also said that the 32 militants who overran the In Amenas gas complex, taking hundreds of workers hostage, came from northern Mali. Twenty-nine of them were killed and three arrested.
Japan PM confirms 7 deaths in Algeria crisis
Japan's prime minister on Monday said seven Japanese deaths had been confirmed in the Algerian hostage crisis, the first official confirmation from Tokyo that any of its nationals had died.
"I was informed by vice foreign minister (Minoru) Kiuchi that as a result of identifications of bodies at a hospital in In Amenas, seven were confirmed to be Japanese employees of JGC," Shinzo Abe told his ministers.
The Japanese firm had earlier said it did not know the fate of 17 of its employees, ten of whom were Japanese.
The prime minister said so far it had not been possible to confirm what had happened to the other three Japanese nationals who remain unaccounted for.
"Japanese people who work at the world's frontiers, the innocent people were victimised. It is extremely painful," Abe said.
A witness at the desert gas plant told AFP he was aware of nine Japanese deaths over the extended siege, which began on Wednesday and ended in a bloodbath on Saturday when the Algerian military moved in.