Militants Demand Safe Passage to Libya After Seizing Westerners in Algeria
Islamist militants who seized Westerners at an Algerian gas plant are demanding a safe passage to nearby Libya, authorities said, as fallout from the French offensive in Mali reverberates globally.
The BP gas field is 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the Libyan border and 1,300 kilometers from the Algerian capital, Algiers.
“The authorities do not negotiate, no negotiations,” Algerian interior minister, Diho Weld Qabliyeh, said on state television after confirming the demands Wednesday night. “We have received their demands, but we didn’t respond to them.”
Media in the region reported that the attackers issued a news release demanding an end to “brutal aggression on our people in Mali” and cited “blatant intervention of the French crusader forces in Mali.”