IN AMENAS, ALGERIA – One of the biggest international hostage crises has ended in Algeria, but not without a high cost in lives lost.
On Wednesday, the al-Qaeda group calling itself The Battalion Of Blood attacked a bus carrying workers from the facility to the airport. They killed at least two people and wounded six others as they took more than 100 hostages, including several Americans. A Nederland, TX, man was apparently among them.
And then today, the Algerian government launched a rescue attempt without the consent of the United States, Great Britain, Japan or any of the hostage’s countries.
The literal and political smoke is still clearing, so details remain sketchy. But apparently two Americans escaped before the Algerians stormed the plant.
Algerian state television says only two Brits and two Filipinos died, but other sources say more hostages died in the rescue attempt, possibly as many as 35.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier today one British citizen died and he warned that further bad news may be coming.
The al-Qaeder splinter group known as ‘The Masked Brigade’ says its leader, Moctar Bel Moctar, also died.
The In Amenas liquefied gas facility is right on the Algerian border with Libya. Statoil of Norway owns the plant, but BP and an Algerian company run it. And BP says it will be pulling out non-essential workers from Algeria as soon as possible.
The terrorists said their attack was because France has taken a big role in defending the shaky government of Mali by launching massive air strikes against Islamic rebels.
The Masked Brigade is active in Mali and Libya.
It is affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, which spreads terror across North Africa. They got a hold of a lot of the weapons stolen from Libya after the fall of Big-Mo Khadafy.
Remember during the presidential campaign when President Obama told us that al-Qaeda was pretty much history? Well, someone forgot to al-Qaeda.