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Africa

Militant killed in siege was former driver at BP facility

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-23

One of the Islamist militants behind a hostage-taking at a BP gas facility in Algeria last week that left at least one Algerian and 37 foreign workers dead was a former driver at the plant, a security source told AFP on Wednesday.

An Islamist militant killed by special forces during the siege of Algeria's In Amenas gas complex used to be a driver at the desert facility, a security source told AFP on Wednesday.

"One of the killed assailants had worked as a driver for one of the companies operating within the complex," the source said, adding that "he had resigned a year ago."

The source was unable to specify who the slain militant had worked for, but indicated that his corpse was recognised by employees at the remote facility deep in the Sahara where a four-day siege last week ended in a bloodbath.

Special forces launched two assaults aimed at freeing both foreigners and Algerians taken hostage inside the complex -- one on Thursday a day after the deadly drama unfolded and then in a final raid on Saturday.

On Monday, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said that 37 foreign hostages and 29 militants were killed. Another three gunmen were found alive.

Five foreigners are still missing and seven burned bodies remain unidentified.

Sellal said that most of the dead hostages were killed execution-style with a single bullet to the head.

A security source said two more of the attackers, known as "the Canadians," were Arabs with joint nationality.

Official sources in Algeria have said the militant squad included three Algerians and men from six other nationalities. In addition to "the Canadians," there were men from Egypt, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and 11 from Tunisia.

The group's head Mohamed Amine Bencheneb, who was killed by the military, was behind the October 2011 kidnapping of two Spaniards in southwest Algeria, the security source said. They were both released in July last year.

(AFP)
 

Date created : 2013-01-23

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