‘Eighty dead’ in Algeria gas field attack

The death toll after the Algeria gas field siege has mounted to 80 according to reports today, with British, American, Japanese, French, Norwegian, Filipino and Romanian workers reported dead or […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The death toll after the Algeria gas field siege has mounted to 80 according to reports today, with British, American, Japanese, French, Norwegian, Filipino and Romanian workers reported dead or missing alongside militant casualties.

Three Britons were killed during the hostage crisis at BP’s gas field in Algeria (pictured) while a further three British nationals and an UK resident are believed to have also died, Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed over the weekend.

Last week dozens of workers were held hostage at the In Amenas gas field near the Libyan border, after 30-40 militants claiming to be linked with al-Qaeda attacked a bus driving to the field early on Wednesday. The terrorist incident came to an end on Saturday with Algerian forces storming the compound to try and rescue the hostages.

The Prime Minister said the events were a “stark reminder… of the threat we face from terrorism the world over”.

He added: “I know the whole country will want to join with me in sending our sympathy and our condolences to the families who’ve undergone an absolutely dreadful ordeal and now face life without these very precious loved ones.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “These are cold blooded murderers and we must remember that. There is no political excuse that justifies behaving in this way. These are people peacefully going about their business and they have been attacked, held hostage and murdered by people who should not be supported anywhere in the world.”

The In Amenas site is owned by British oil giant BP, Norwegian energy firm Statoil and Algeria’s state oil and gas company Sonatrach and would typically have a workforce of 500-700.

BP says at the time of the attack there were 18 BP employees at In Amenas and it says 14 of them are safe and secure. Two of the 14 have sustained injuries, but these are not life-threatening. The firm added in a statement it is “gravely concerned” about four of its employees who are missing.