France cannot confirm its nationals among Algeria hostages

16th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

President Francois Hollande said Wednesday it was not confirmed that any French nationals had been taken hostage after an attack in Algeria by Islamists who claimed they had kidnapped 41 people.

"As I speak, a hostage-taking situation is going on in Algeria at an oil site, and we don't yet know the exact number of people held. Likewise for the French nationals who might be involved," he said.

"I'm in permanent contact with the Algerian authorities who are doing and will do their duty."

Islamists said they were holding 41 Westerners at a gas field after killing two foreigners in an attack carried out to avenge Algerian support for French military intervention in Mali.

The hostages included seven Americans, French, British and Japanese citizens, the Islamists told the Mauritanian News Agency as well as Sahara Media.

Algeria's APS news agency gave a toll of two people killed, including a Briton, and six injured in the dawn attack by suspected Al-Qaeda loyalists in Tigantourine in southern Algeria.

© 2013 AFP

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