Hostage's family says Algerian army attacked hostage jeeps

BELFAST Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:21am IST

Related Topics

BELFAST (Reuters) - A hostage who escaped unharmed from Islamist militants in Algeria on Thursday said the Algerian army bombed four jeeps carrying fellow captives and probably killed many of them, his brother told Reuters.

Irishman Stephen McFaul, who was among dozens of Western and local captives seized by militants at an Algerian natural gas plant on Wednesday, told his family that he survived because he was on the only one of five jeeps not hit by Algerian bombs, according to his brother Brian.

"They were moving five jeep-loads of hostages from one part of the compound. At that stage they were intercepted by the Algerian army. The army bombed four out of five of the trucks and four of them were destroyed," Brian McFaul said.

"The truck my brother was in crashed and at that stage Stephen was able to make a break for his freedom," he said. "He presumed everyone else in the other trucks was killed."

Brian McFaul said he did not speak to Stephen directly, but got an account from Stephen's wife Angela after she spoke to him. The hostages had their mouths taped and explosives hung from around their necks, McFaul added.

Thirty hostages and at least 11 Islamist militants were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces stormed the desert gas plant in a bid to free many dozens of captives, an Algerian security source said.

Western governments were unhappy at having been kept in the dark by Algeria before the raid and its bloody result.

Two Japanese, two Britons and a French national were among at least seven foreigners killed, the source told Reuters. Eight of the dead hostages were Algerian. The nationalities of the rest, along with perhaps dozens more who escaped, were unclear. (Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Gaza Conflict

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Special Report

Special Report

Inside Xi Jinping's purge of China's oil mandarins.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

S.Korea ferry businessman's cause of death impossible to decide - agency.  Full Article 

Food Scandal

Food Scandal

McDonald's takes chicken nuggets off menu in Hong Kong amid food scare.  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Wreckage of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found in Mali.  Full Article 

Health Crisis

Health Crisis

Myanmar Muslims in remote Rakhine suffer worsening health crisis.  Full Article 

Afghan Election

Afghan Election

Afghan vote recount moves at snail's pace, rival sides far apart.  Full Article 

Iraq Government

Iraq Government

Iraq elects president as Ban urges unity to save nation.  Full Article 

MH17 Crash

MH17 Crash

Investigators find no evidence of MH17 black box tampering  Full Article 

Freedom at Last

Freedom at Last

Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets Pope.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage