Japanese, British, French, American, Norwegian, Romanian and Austrian nationals may have been killed by the Algerian army, in an attempt to help them escape after being kidnapped.
They were being held hostage in the Saharan desert, on the natural gas pumping station at Amenas, Mirror informs. The victims were working at the station, reports say.
At least 11 rebels also lost their lives in the strike by the national armed forces in Algeria. Militants raided the station in Illizi province, near the border with Lybia. At this time, the military operation has come to an end.
The attack started on Thursday, January 17. Two people were killed and other six were injured in the morning as rebels, believed to be led by jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, threatened to eliminate the foreign hostages.
Belmokhtar is a veteran in the insurgent army, and has been tied to the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. His organization is dubbed the “Battalion of Blood,” Policy Mic writes.
Several Algerian hostages have been freed, with one survivor describing that the militants allegedly targeted “Christians and infidels.”
They announced that they were keeping 41 workers hostage, whom they would kill if they were attacked. As a result, Algeria acted immediately to raid the camp, without prior consultation with other governments.
“The Algerian prime minister explained that the situation was extremely fast moving that in the Algeria government's judgment they needed to act immediately,” a spokesman for British prime minister David Cameron said, according to Daily Mail.
He was only alerted about the operation after it began, at approximately 11.30 in the morning.
“It's a fluid situation, it's ongoing, it's very uncertain.
“We should be prepared for the possibility of further bad news, very difficult news, in this extremely difficult situation,” he explained about the possible outcome of the situation.