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  #1  
Old 16 Jan 2013
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41 westerners abducted near In Amenas

Algérie: Aqmi revendique la prise d'otages sur le site de BP à In Amenas - Algérie - RFI

Among them, seven Americans and a number of Norwegians.
Two were killed, one of them a brit.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2dd8b...#axzz2IASDlLvb

MBM claims the attack. It was done with only three vehicles, overmanning algerian security.
Sounds like a suicide attack - no exit strategy. Not good.

Last edited by priffe; 16 Jan 2013 at 19:27.
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  #2  
Old 16 Jan 2013
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I would guess the entry point was Libya which is just 25 km from In Amenas airport.

Initially this looked to me like an effort to gain human shields. Now it looks more like major reprisal for the Mali intervention.
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  #3  
Old 17 Jan 2013
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Possibly 41 hostages taken in In Amenas

BBC:
Algerian troops have surrounded a gas facility in the east of the country where foreign workers are being held hostage by Islamist militants.
The kidnappers occupied the complex at In Amenas on Wednesday, after killing a Briton and an Algerian in an attack on a bus.
Algeria says some 20 foreign nationals are being held hostage, although the kidnappers say they have 41.
The captives include British, Japanese, US, French and Norwegian nationals.
One statement purported to be from the hostage-takers demanded an end to the French military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali.

BBC News - Algeria troops surround militant hostage-takers
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  #4  
Old 17 Jan 2013
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As a heads up - in case anyone is thinking of driving down to Djanet, the entrance to the Tigantourine facility where the hostage drama is reportedly based, is less than 1km off the main tar road which runs from In Amenas to Illizi - in other words on the main road south to Djanet which many people on the forum have riden/driven before. Tigantourine is about 30 minutes drive south of In Amenas. The workers were said to be intercepted while on a bus travelling to the In Amenas airport.

Last edited by Richard Washington; 17 Jan 2013 at 13:26.
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  #5  
Old 17 Jan 2013
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Breakout at Tiguentourine

"Algerian hostages had been released Wednesday by small groups
but their number was not specified."

BENGHAZI POST: BREAKOUT AT TIGUENTOURINE
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  #6  
Old 17 Jan 2013
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In Amenas: Military operation under way

BBC:
Algeria siege: Military operation under way
An Algerian military operation is under way at a gas facility in eastern Algeria where hostages are being held, the British Foreign Office says.
Algerian soldiers had been surrounding the facility near In Amenas that kidnappers occupied on Wednesday, after killing a Briton and an Algerian.
A local resident told Reuters news agency that a number of people had been killed in the operation.
Reports quoting militants said at least 34 hostages and 14 kidnappers died.
There was no official confirmation of any deaths.

BBC News - Algeria siege: Military operation under way
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  #7  
Old 17 Jan 2013
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Q&A by BBC

Interesting Q&A backgrounder and live coverage on the In Amenas crisis. I believe BBC will update the information as the situation develops and (hopefully) comes to the happy end.

BBC News - Q&A: Hostage crisis in Algeria
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21063558
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  #8  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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Although it is too early to say, and we don't know yet what happened and is still happening, but personally I think the algerian hard-hitting approach with no negotiations whatsoever in this case lead to a dismal failure for Belmohktar.
They tried to make a getaway with hostages in five vehicles but were promptly dealt with.

No hostages means no ransoms, only a loss of thirty men, a number of vehicles and arms.
If he has a couple hundred men working with him, that should be a significant loss for MBM.

That is the only way the kidnappings can come to a halt - no rewards in sight.

Also, no propaganda victory - no hostages to put on videos for months or years to come, and no human shields to be used for blackmail or to prevent attacks.
The attack only galvanized the anti-jihadist forces and made it even more evident that this problem will have to be dealt with now.
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Old 18 Jan 2013
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Unfortunate for the hostages, but I feel that the time for paying ransoms, and allowing the hostages to be decapitated on video, has to be brought to an end.

It is sad, if all the hostages have lost their lives, however, so have the kidnappers also lost their lives.

I don't know what the turning point would be, but I hope the kidnappers do begin to realise that, there could be a hard hitting end to the capture of hostages, which may also end in the death of them selves.

Hope the kidnappers rot in hell, and the 70 virgins awaiting,,, is all bull shit.

vette
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  #10  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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I think MBM is a numbers guy, he will start calculating and when the figures for kidnappings are firmly in the red, he will look for other ways to generate dirty money.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/midd...79240893bf5200

If it is true that 650 hostages were freed, and 573 of them were algerians, that would mean that 77 foreigners have been liberated, and the Algerians will claim this operation as a success.
The plants security manager was a Frenchman, Yann Desjeux, and he is among those taken hostage.
And the British private security concern Stirling Group was protecting the site.
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  #11  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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  #12  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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According to some, Belaouar The One-Eyed MBM was present on site

Bellaouar, l’auteur de la gigantesque prise d’otages d’In Amenas, est venu du Nord Mali

Also http://twitter.com/search?q=amenas
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  #13  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
MBM claims the attack. It was done with only three vehicles, overmanning algerian security.
Sounds like a suicide attack - no exit strategy. Not good.
Priffe read this one right. Bad ending and indeed no exit strategy. This marks a change for the way AQIM interacts with westerners in the desert.
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  #14  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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http://www.liberte-algerie.com/actua...-amenas-192758
Unhelpful if true.
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  #15  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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-685 algerian and 107 foreign workers freed

-thirty-two (32) terrorists neutralized

-twenty-three (23) people killed.

Could have ended much worse. Algerian army came out on top and MBM will have to rethink his strategy - can't afford many more attacks like this. So he will be looking for softer targets.

Here is the full press release: (with some help from google translate)


"Algeria has had to deal with a major terrorist attack has jeopardized hundreds of human lives and strategic economic infrastructure.

This attack began the when a terrorist group, heavily armed, attacked a bus carrying 19 foreigners working on behalf of the group Sonatrach-BP-Statoil, escorted by members of the Gendarmerie Nationale, which was headed for the Airport Amenas.

This attack, which was strongly rejected by the escort units, resulted in the death of one (1) Algerian and one (1) British and six (6) injuries (4 national, English 1 and one Norwegian).

This attack was followed by an incursion into the remote base camp three (3) kilometers away, the gas plant Tiguentourine, where they took hostages.

This terrorist group that gained national territory from neighboring countries, several vehicles off-road, consisted of thirty-two (32) criminals, including three (3) Algerian with explosives specialists. Other criminals are of different nationalities.

Forces of the National Popular Army immediately put the necessary measures to secure the scene and neutralize this threat against hundreds of human lives and strategic gas installations.

Concomitantly, an emergency assistance and rescue was initiated and vrisis cells have been vreated at national and local levels, to cope with any eventuality and follow the development of the situation in order to take adequate measures.

The primary concern of protecting human life and the risks related to the nature of gas installations, site configuration and threat to the hostages made for a complex intervention by the Special Forces of the National People's Army.

To avoid a bloody turn of events and at the extreme danger of the situation, due to the clear intention to flee the country with the hostages and blow up gas facilities, special forces the ANP have launched, operational efficiency and professionalism, targeted intervention to neutralize the terrorist group. This intervention resulted in the trial balance as follows:

-685 Algerian and 107 foreign workers freed

Thirty-two (32) terrorists neutralized

-twenty-three (23) people dead

-The weapons recovered consists of six (6) machine guns (FMPK), 21 PMAK guns, two rifles glasses, two 60mm mortars, rockets, missiles 6 type C5 with 60mm launchers, 8 RPG7 with two rockets, 10 grenades arranged as explosive belts,

-Recovery of foreign military supplies

-The recovery of a stock of ammunition and explosives.

At the diplomatic level, regular contacts have been established with senior officials as well as the embassies of the countries directly concerned, to keep them regularly informed of developments.

Faced with this criminal aggression, Algeria wishes to express his appreciation to partner countries as well as international and regional organizations that have expressed their full solidarity and support and condemned in the strongest terms this terrorist attack ".
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