Update: 1/18: The hostage crisis is continuing with several Americans and untold other hostages. Perhaps as many as thirty are being held, including Americans. One American had a heart attack and died when the Algerians began their siege. No one can even tell us if the hostages are still alive.
Negotiations are going on.
The terrorists are demanding the release of two terrorists in US custody, including the Blind Sheikh.
At some point, the Algerians will do whatever they feel they have to do.
Update: 16:16 EST: Algeria is reporting that several hostages were killed but a large number of hostages have been saved.
Under criticism from other countries for the counter attack, Algeria said they were forced to act because of the “diehard” attitude of the captors.
Two Americans are reported to have been rescued. Some hostages died with their captors as the Algerian military fired on a vehicle they were in according to a local source speaking to Reuters.
Update: 11:04 EST: As many as 34 hostages might have been killed when Algerians launched an air and ground offensive. Sec. Panetta called it a terror attack but the New York Times did not quote him with that reference.
The terrorists claim 35 hostages have been killed but other reports claim as many as 25 hostages have escaped, including two Americans.
Update: January 17: Several Americans have reportedly escaped their captors. Twenty hostages reportedly escaped but many were killed. These are early reports. Some reports say twenty-five foreign hostages escaped.
Original Story: 1/16: This administration has told us that al Qaeda was defeated when in fact the threat is growing throughout the world.
The events in Mali are a good example of that growing threat. An area of Mali, the size of Texas is now held by the extreme Islamists who have been brutally murdering Christians in the area. France has been battling with al Qaeda in Mali.
Today an al Qaeda group called the Katibat Moulathamine, or the Masked Brigade, took control of a natural gas field owned in part by BP is southern Algeria. There are as many as 41 hostages and at least 3 of them are Americans. The other hostages represent 9 or 10 other nationalities. Al Qaeda claims they have 7 Americans.
The group said the attack is revenge for Algeria’s support of France’s operation in Mali against the al Qaeda rebels.
Unnamed extremists called in to the media saying that the kidnappers are a subsidiary of the Masked Brigade and call themselves “Those Who Signed in Blood,” a group created to attack the countries participating in the ongoing offensive in Mali. [Al Qaeda-linked groups are all the same people]
via Fox News
…In a statement BP said the site was “attacked and occupied by a group of unidentified armed people,” and some of its personnel are believed to be “held by the occupiers.”
The number and identities of the hostages was still unclear, but Ireland announced that a 36-year-old married Irish man was among them, while Japan and Britain said their citizens were involved as well. A Norwegian woman said her husband called her saying he had been taken hostage.
In addition to two foreigners being killed — one of them a Briton — six others were wounded in the attack, including two foreigners, two police officers and two security agents, Algeria’s state news agency reported.
Algerian forces have surrounded the kidnappers and negotiations for the release of the hostages are ongoing…