Sunday, January 20, 2013

'We have come to exterminate the Crusaders' - Algerian hostage crisis background


Al Jazeera news video.

"WE HAVE come to exterminate the Crusaders", said a freed Algerian worker at the In Amenas gas field. He described on Al Jazeera television how the the Islamic jihadists searched the Sahara desert installation looking for foreign workers and planned to blow up the entire plant.

The hostage crisis had a deadly end at the weekend with the second and final assault by Algerian special forces but the bloody saga has cast a shadow over the country’s energy sector, according to the latest report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The preliminary death toll from the four-day siege was 23 hostages and 32 captors with five of the militants being captured. The army freed 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreigners.

France24.com has taken a closer look with Sébastian Seibt reporting:
The hostage incident has indeed caused a halt in activity at the site, where both gas and 50,000 barrels a day of liquid hydrocarbons similar to crude oil are produced.

Compared to the 1.18 million barrels of crude oil produced daily by Algeria, the production at the gas field seems relatively insignificant.

“It can create a bit of volatility, but one attack in itself is not going to lead to a long-term price hike,” said Céline Antonin, an economist specialising in oil industries at the French Economic Observatory.

The risk is that the terrorists’ “ability to strike so boldly is likely to spook the Western oil operators who run facilities across the region”, according to British weekly magazine The Economist. If oil operators get jittery, The Economist assessed, speculation could result in higher prices.
>> Read more
Stop press:  At least 37 hostages died in the terrorist seizure of, and ensuing special forces assault on, a natural gas plant in Algeria, says the country's prime minister. Five other hostages are missing from the In Amenas complex and could be dead, Prime Minister Abdul Malek Sallal said. Before Sallal's statement on Monday, other countries and companies that employed foreign workers at the sprawling plant had confirmed a total of 29 hostage deaths. - CNN

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