Algerian forces who had ringed the Ain Amenas complex in a tense standoff had vowed not to negotiate with the kidnappers, who reportedly were seeking safe passage. Security experts said the end of the two-day standoff was in keeping with the North African country’s tough approach to terrorism.The kidnapping is one of the largest ever attempted by a militant group in North Africa.The militants phoned a Mauritanian news outlet to demand that France end its intervention in neighboring Mali to ensure the safety of the hostages in the isolated plant, located 1300 kilometres south of the capital of Algiers.Phone contacts with the militants were severed as government forces closed in, according to the Mauritanian agency, which often carries reports from al-Qaida-linked extremist groups in North Africa.
The news coming out of Algeria is still rather uncertain but what is clear is that the rescue effort has resulted in some casualties amongst those held by the Islamists as sad as that is you just can’t dwell upon that or blame those soldiers who have mounted the operation. It has been my belief ever since the exceptional rescue of hostages from Entebbe by Israeli Commandos way back in the day that the only way to realistically consider such events is to work on the basis that you consider the hostages already dead and any that you manage to save are enjoying a second life which is a bonus.
Does that sound rather heartless?
Well maybe it is but it is also realistic given how too many of those who worship Allah want to buy their place in heaven with the blood of infidels. You just can not negotiate with such people and the only thing that you can realistically do is take them out as quickly and as effectively as you can. Perfection in such operations is of course achieved when all hostages are freed but to my mind a rescue operation is still a success if only one hostage is resurrected and all of the terrorists are killed or captured. It Is still unclear as to how many of the hostages have survived but its more than one so a success in my book.
Cue a chorus of complaints that will decry the deaths of the hostages and suggest ineptitude by the Algerian rescuers rather than celebrate those who have been saved.
- Militants say 35 hostages dead in Algerian raid (miamiherald.com)
- Militants: 35 hostages die in Algerian raid (posttrib.suntimes.com)
- Islamists say scores dead in Algeria (bigpondnews.com)
- Militants say hostages die in Algerian raid (kansascity.com)
- Militants: 35 hostages dead in Algerian copter attack (cbsnews.com)
- Bloodshed at gas plant as Algerian forces attempt to liberate hostages (washingtontimes.com)