Algeria Hostage Crisis: Were French And Canadian Jihadists Among In Amenas Hostage-Takers?

Were French And Canadian 'Jihadists' Among In Amenas Hostage-Takers?

French and Canadian militants could have been among those who stormed an Algerian gas field, taking hundreds hostage and killing dozens, according to international media reports.

Reuters said Algerian forces have found the bodies of two Canadian Islamist militants at the remote In Amenas complex, where at least 81 people have been killed, including up to seven Brits.

A security source told the news agency that two of the bodies of the hostage-takers had been identified as Canadian.

Algerian army trucks are seen near Ain Amenas, the gas plant where the hostage taking occurred

French newspaper Le Parisien, citing government and security sources, reported this weekend that at least one of the militants was a French national, but the country's government said it could not verify that claim.

France 24 reported that French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters on Sunday he “did not believe the rumours” there was a French jihadist in In Amenas.

It is currently known that 81 people had been killed, including 31 militants. Around 25 bodies have yet to be identified. Those confirmed dead include three Brits, six Filipinos, two Romanians, a US and a French citizen.

Other nationalities believe to have been killed in the siege include Algerians, Americans, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian workters.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters he “did not believe the rumours” there was a French jihadist

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former stalwart of Al Qaeda In Islamic Maghreb and now the leader of the "Signed In Blood Battalion", has claimed responsibility for the attack in a video message.

In a statement published by the Mauritania's Nouakchott News Agency, the hostage takers said: "We opened the door for negotiations with the Westerners and the Algerians, and granted them safety from the beginning of the operation, but one of the senior (Algerian) intelligence officials confirmed to us in a phone call that they will destroy the place with everyone in it."

Around 700 workers and more than 100 foreigners escaped from the besieged complex.

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