19 January 2013

Algeria: French Citizen Killed in Algerian Hostage Crisis

Photo: BP
Natural gas facility in Amenas, Algeria.

A Frenchman has been killed during an operation to rescue workers held hostage by Islamic militants at a gas field in eastern Algeria.

The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said Yann Desjeux died when the Algerian military launched a rescue operation at the remote gas plant at In Amenas.

Three other French citizens were rescued.

It is understood Desjeux comes from the town of Anglet, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in southwestern France where he also runs a restaurant.

The crisis began on Wednesday when militants attacked the site, which is jointly run by the British energy giant BP, Norway's Statoil and Algeria's state-owned energy company Sonatrach.

A security source in Algeria earlier said 12 hostages have been killed since the Algerian army launched the operation against the Al Qaeda-linked hostage takers.

The office of the French President says François Hollande will on Sunday meet the families of French hostages held in the Sahara.

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