x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Philippines confirms six Filipinos killed in Algeria gas plant siege

Four others are 'still unaccounted for', while 16 Filipinos also caught up in the crisis are confirmed to be alive.

Filipinos who were working at the sprawling oil field in Algeria which was attacked by terrorists arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Sunday. On Monday, the government said six of its citizens had died in the hostage crisis at the gas plant. Bullit Marquez / AP Photo
Filipinos who were working at the sprawling oil field in Algeria which was attacked by terrorists arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Sunday. On Monday, the government said six of its citizens had died in the hostage crisis at the gas plant. Bullit Marquez / AP Photo

MANILA // Six Filipinos were killed in gunfire or explosions during a siege by Islamist militants on a gas plant in Algeria, and four others are missing, the Philippine government said today.

"The deaths of the six Filipinos were a direct result of the hostage-taking incident in the area and mostly by gunshot wounds and the effects of the explosions," the foreign affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

Mr Hernandez said four others were "still unaccounted for", while 16 Filipinos also caught up in the crisis were confirmed to be alive.

The Philippine government had previously said it did not know if any Filipinos had been killed during the 72-hour siege at the In Amenas gas plant, deep inside the Sahara desert, that ended on Saturday.

Algeria's Ennahar television reported that the bodies of 25 hostages were found on Sunday by security forces combing through the plant, and that five hostage-takers had been captured alive.

But Algeria warned other nations to prepare for a higher body count, as the Algerian prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, prepared to hold a news conference later today.