Conflict & Justice

5 Algerian hostage kidnappers 'taken alive,' reports say


A picture shows a road sign indicating Tiguentourine near In Amenas on a road leading to a gas complex where Islamist gunmen had taken hostages in the desert in Algeria's deep south on January 19, 2013. Islamist gunmen killed seven foreign hostages in Algeria before being gunned down by special forces in a final assault on a remote desert gas complex, state television said, though five members have reportedly been found alive.


Farouk Batiche

Five of the kidnappers who took hostages in a seige at an Algerian gas plant this week have been found alive, according to reports.

BBC News and Agence France Presse are both reporting that several of the Islamist militants allegedly responsible for the hostage-taking were "taken alive" at the BP plant at In Amenas. 

Private Algerian television channel Ennahar reported that three other kidnappers remain at large, station director Anis Rahmani told AFP. 

The reports come after Algerian authorities initially announced that all 32 kidnappers had been killed in the bloody rescue operation, BBC News reported. 

Algerian officials acknowledged that the death toll of hostages, currently at 25, is expected to rise further. A Japanese engineering company also reported that 17 of its workers remain unaccounted for after the siege, New York Times reporter Jim Roberts tweeted Sunday.

Obama said Saturday that the White House would work closely with Algerian officials to get a full understanding of the attack in the Sahara desert, the Wall Street Journal reported.  

"The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the US condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms," said Obama. "We have been in constant contact with Algerian officials and stand ready to provide whatever assistance they need in the aftermath of this attack."

More from GlobalPost: Bodies of 25 Algeria hostages found in gas facility after deadly raid