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Old 01-20-2013, 09:58 AM
sfc_darrel sfc_darrel is offline
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Exclamation 'We're only after the Christians...' Minutes later a Briton lay dead: Terrifying mome

'We're only after the Christians...' Minutes later a Briton lay dead: Terrifying moment gas plant gunmen rounded up non-Muslims and strapped explosives to their necks
  • Algerian employee says Westerner was 'blown up' for trying to give first aid
  • IT worker says Westerners were rounded up and targeted
  • Attackers knew compound layout and were organised
By Anna Edwards
PUBLISHED:17:41 EST, 19 January 2013| UPDATED:10:25 EST, 20 January 2013

A British security guard was murdered in cold blood just minutes into the siege at the Algerian gas plant, an IT worker caught up in the hostage crisis has told The Mail on Sunday.

The Algerian employee, who managed to escape, has given the most detailed account so far of how Islamist terrorists rounded up foreign workers during the four-day stand-off and placed explosives round their necks.

Following his escape, the IT worker contacted a friend who remained in the camp and witnessed yesterday’s final onslaught by Algerian troops.

Ordeal: Hostages are seen sitting against the wall of a building outside the gas plant during the terrifying crisis

Terror chief: Mokhtar Belmokhtar, identified by the Algerian interior ministry as the leader of a militant Islamic group

Speaking under condition of anonymity after the Algerian army told him not to talk, he said: ‘The terrorists arrived at 5.10am on Wednesday in three vehicles and began firing at a bus. A guard was shot and then another guard got out of a car and was instantly shot dead. I believe he was the first Briton to die.’

The IT worker recalled how the Islamists systematically targeted Western employees.

‘The terrorists went to the alarm station, switched off the alarms, and forced the deputy manager to show them where the expats were. They rounded up the expats, making them all wear explosives around their necks while standing in a circle.

‘The attackers were carrying Kalashnikovs and bombs and went throughout the complex, seeking out expats hiding, and forcing them into the circle.’

He said more than 20 British workers – whom the terrorists called ‘kuffar’, meaning non-Muslims – were rounded up.

He added: ‘Us Algerians were rounded up separately and were treated with kindness. We were told that because we were Muslim we would not be killed, and it was only the Christians they were after.

‘The terrorists allowed the Algerians to send texts and make phone calls, but to stop the expats communicating, they forced an Algerian telecommunications man to cut network connections for mobile, internet and power. But a back-up system kicked in, which allowed some Brits to send text messages.


‘One, David Murray, was sending text messages while hiding under his desk. I have been told he survived.’

An image broadcast today appears to show hostages surrendering to Islamist gunmen who overtook a gas facility

The Algerian witness said more than 20 British workers ¿ whom the terrorists called ¿kuffar¿, meaning non-Muslims ¿ were rounded up

The IT worker said a lot of planning had gone into the siege. ‘The attackers knew the layout of the complex extremely well. They knew the names of the people responsible, the number of cars and who had keys.’

He added: ‘Of the terrorists, one was an Egyptian, another was Libyan and one was Syrian. Most of them were Algerian but some of them had white skin and I think they were Canadian. Two were speaking fluent English. They claimed to be working for Mokhtar Belmokhtar.’ Belmokhtar is the one-eyed jihadist believed to be behind the attack.

The IT worker continued: ‘The Algerian hostages were then allowed to leave. I was allowed to go but before I did, I saw many Brits killed. One Westerner trying to give first aid was blown up by the terrorists.

‘When the army arrived, they were firing at everyone – terrorists and hostages – indiscriminately.

The Algerian army on Saturday carried out a final assault on Al Qaeda-linked gunmen holed up in a desert gas plant

An ambulance enters an hospital near the gas plant. An eyewitness said one Westerner who was trying to give first aid was blown up

‘One person in the military told me the aim was to erase the place at any cost and attack “Russian style”, with no attempt at negotiation.

‘We escaped during the army’s attack by running to a disused entry point, where some of my colleagues cut through the fence using knives.’

He had contact with a friend who was still inside the plant yesterday. The IT worker said: ‘The army had secured most of the complex, but there were still some terrorists holed up with hostages, trying to negotiate. My friend said the army were scared to take it over completely because the terrorists had laid bombs.

‘When the army stormed in, my friend heard two explosions and then there was a lot of confusion.

‘I’m still traumatised. Hopefully, the killings are now over.’

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