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South African rescued from Algeria

Johannesburg - A South African was rescued from Algeria after a terrorist attack at the Tigantourine gas complex, Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Thursday.

“We received confirmation that one South African citizen who was rescued by the Algerian military arrived safely back in South Africa on Monday, 21 January,” he said in a statement.

Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing a person killed during the gas facility hostage situation at the morgue in Ain Amenas, Algeria. Credit: AP

“The South African government has strongly condemned the terrorist attack... on 16 January and expressed its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the attack.”

No further information was provided on the rescued person, and whether he was taken hostage.

Last Wednesday, armed Islamists attacked a bus carrying engineers working at a gas field in Algeria, killing two people and taking 41 foreigners hostage, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Islamists then went to the Tigantourine gas complex, which is operated jointly by BP, Statoil, and Sonatrach, and took dozens of foreigners and a large number of Algerian employees hostage.

Algeria's government said 37 foreigners of eight different nationalities and an Algerian were killed in the siege by the hostage-takers, who were demanding the release of Islamist prisoners and an end to France's intervention in Mali.

Britain's BP said authorities were searching for five missing foreigners and were trying to identify seven charred bodies.

Ebrahim said South Africa continued to support the global fight against terrorism and supported all multilateral efforts aimed at eradicating it.

“We stand ready to support Algeria in its fight to eradicate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he said. - Sapa

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