(ANSAmed) - TUNIS - The Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb brigade, led by Moctar Belmoctar, claims it has taken 41 foreigners hostage in Algerian BP oil facilities in Tiguentourine. According to the spokesman of Belmoctar's brigade quoted by Sahara Media, the kidnapping of the foreigners is in revenge for Algeriàs consent to French use of its airspace for flights headed to Mali.The group of hostages includie 'seven Americans, two French nationals and a number of British and Japanese nationals, reportsAlgerian daily El Watan, which quoted unnamed security sources.
The Algerian Interior Ministry has said that an injured British national lost his life, raising the death toll to two (the first was a French national).
Further details have emerged on the incident. According to the Interior Ministry, shortly before the attack the terrorists had tried to take possession of a bus in which foreigners headed for the In Amenas airport were traveling. Having failed in the attempt, the terrorists then targeted the In Amenas oil facilties. The attack occurred near the Libyan border. A crisis unit has been set up by the French Foreign Ministry.
BP has reported that armed men are still at the scene of today's attack on its oil facilities in Algeria, along the border with Libya. This could mean that the hostages are sil in the Algerian oil facilities. (ANSAmed).