The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that six Filipino workers have been killed by militants at a natural gas plant in Algeria. At least 16 Filipinos were accounted for, while four others are still missing, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told reporters on Monday. "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," Hernandez said. The information about the Filipino nationals was released after Algerian special forces stormed the gas plant on Saturday to put an end to a four-day deadly hostage taking by fighters, known as the Signed-in-Blood Battalion at the In Amenas gas complex.
The Signed-in-Blood Battalion said the hostage-taking incident has been carried out in reprisal for France’s war on Mali.On January 11, France initiated a war on Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in the African country. This is while, local media said earlier on Sunday that bodies of 25 hostages were found at the complex, bringing the number of the killed militants to at least 48. The search operation in still underway at the complex with at least 20 hostages unaccounted for. The recent death toll of the four-day siege of the plant has reached 81. AO/SZH