Afternoon update: Calderdale man freed from Algerian hostage crisis

The gas plant raided by militants
The gas plant raided by militants

A Todmorden man was among those freed from the hostage crisis in Algeria before it ended in a bloodbath.

Martin Johnson, a 62-year-old father of four works as a motor engineer.

He was among several freed hostages featured on Algerian TV and he praised Algerian troops.

“I think they did a fantastic job, I was very impressed with the Algerian army,” he said.

“I feel sorry for anybody who has been hurt.”

The four day siege at the In Amenas site was ended yesterday (Sat) by an army raid.

Three Britons are confirmed to have been killed and three more are believed to be dead after the Algeria hostage crisis, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

One further UK resident is also thought to be dead.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the 22 other Britons caught up in the crisis are now back in the UK.

Algeria says at least 23 hostages and 32 militants died but the final death tool might rise.

Its government also said the Islamic militants were from six different nationalities.

Speaking at Chequers, Mr Cameron said the attack was a “stark reminder” of the continuing terrorist threat and said he would use Britain’s chairmanship of the G8 to ensure that it was at the top of the international agenda.

“This is a global threat and it will require a global response. It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months,” he said.

“It requires a response that is patient and painstaking, that is tough but also intelligent, but above all has an absolutely iron resolve and that is what we will deliver over these coming years.”

Mr Hague said the British survivors had flown back to the UK on government and BP chartered flights overnight and were now being reunited with their families.

The In Amenas gas field is situated at Tigantourine, about 40km (25 miles) south-west of the town of In Amenas and 1,300km (800 miles) south-east of Algiers.

The plant is jointly run by BP, Norway’s Statoil and Algeria’s state-owned oil company.

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