Algeria To Boost Energy Plant Security In Wake Of Hostage Crisis

From Huffington Post

By Aomar Ouali

Algerian soldiers will start protecting sensitive hydrocarbon sites and electrical plants in this energy-rich country, officials told journalists touring a gas complex where a recent standoff between militants and the army left dozens of foreign hostages dead.

The military also is investigating if an insider helped the militants whose attack led to the four-day hostage crisis at the Ain Amenas complex, the officials said. That probe comes amid unconfirmed reports that BP energy executives were holding a meeting at the site when the attackers arrived, and that the militants sought them out.

The al-Qaida-affiliated militants stormed the desert gas complex near the Libyan border on Jan. 16, taking hundreds of people – most of them Algerians – hostage. The resulting fight with the Algerian army ended with at least 37 hostages and 29 militants killed. At least 36 of the dead hostages were foreigners.

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