The attack occurred between 5:00 and 6:00am local time in Algeria (around midnight this morning of the 16th – East Coast time). The facility is a joint venture operated by British Petroleum (BP), Norway’s Statoil and the Algerian state company, Sonatrach.
According to the Algerian interior ministry, a heavily armed group using three vehicles attacked the bus. An Algerian security unit repelled the attack which resulted in the death of one foreign national and the wounding of six personnel. The armed insurgents immediately took off for the living quarters at the gas complex and took almost 40 people hostage.
- Two foreigners are believed to have been killed – one Briton and one Frenchman
- Seven others were wounded in the attack and an estimated 40 foreigners are believed to have been taken hostage – up to three of which are reported to be American citizens.
- A group known as the Katibat Moulathamine, or Masked Brigade, called a Mauritanian news outlet claiming the attack by one of their subsidiaries: a splinter organization calling itself “Those Who Signed in Blood”.
- The facility held workers from the UK, United States, Japan, Norway, Algeria, and France
- It is currently unknown if the terrorists are still at the gas complex or if they retreated with the hostages.
Map: Americans Taken Hostage in Algeria
This cluster of a situation most likely has stemmed from France’s recent deployment of combat troops to Mali, which shares an 855 mile long border with Algeria.