ALGIERS- More than 600 workers held hostage in the terrorist attack of the natural gas complex of Tiguentourine, in In Amenas (1600-km southeast of Algiers), including nearly one hundred foreign workers, have been freed by the Special Forces of the People’s National Army (Army) and 18 terrorists have been neutralized, a security force told APS Friday.
A total of 573 Algerian workers and nearly half of the 132 foreign hostages have been released during the raid to neutralize the group of terrorists entrenched in the gas facility, according to a provisional toll issued Friday morning.
Army Special Forces are still trying to reach a "peaceful outcome" before neutralizing the terrorist group entrenched in the refinery and free the remaining hostages, the source said.
Some foreign workers are still hidden in different parts of the gas complex, the source added, announcing that the gas plant has been shut down to avoid risks of explosion.
The heavily armed group that attacked Wednesday the gas complex of Tiguentourine is composed of about thirty terrorists of different nationalities. The group is "very heavily armed. They have missiles, rocket-launchers and other weapons of war," the source said, adding that the terrorist group is "very determined."
The terrorist group "hold the foreign workers in the gas complex hostages and take them to Mali to exert unbearable pressures on the countries involved in the operations of the fight against terrorists in Mali and also on the international community," the source explained.
"Otherwise, the group warned to kill the foreign hostages to maximize the impact on the international community," the source added.
The Algerian Special Forces tried Thursday morning to reach a peaceful outcome but the terrorists, according to information that reached them, intended to kill all hostages and massacre everyone in the gas complex, the source said.
The Army Special Forces decided then to launch a land attack to neutralize the group of terrorists who were about to flee with the hostages, the source explained.
This intervention, carried out in an "extremely complex" situation, avoided a "disaster to hundreds of hostages and the gas facilities," the source added.