Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has condemned the deadly hostage-taking incident by a group of fighters in a natural gas facility in eastern Algeria. Mehmanparast expressed the Islamic Republic’s condolences to the families of the hostages who were killed, as well as the Algerian government and nation, Mehr news agency reported.
The Iranian official said the incident would lead to the spread of insecurity and instability in the sensitive North Africa region, and stressed the necessity of putting an end to transregional support for the terrorists in this area.Mehmanparast also called for a joint effort by international bodies and regional organizations to uproot terrorism. The hostage-taking crisis in Algeria began on January 16 when a group of fighters from Mali crossed the border into Algeria and attacked the In Amenas natural gas complex, taking a number of people hostage. On Saturday, Algerian troops stormed the gas complex to end the siege. The incident led to death of a total of 25 hostages and 32 fighters. The fighters in Mali say they carried out the attack to avenge Algeria's support for the French war in Mali. On January 11, France launched a military intervention in Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in the African country. Four days later, France announced that it would more than triple the number of its troopers in Mali, from 800 to 2,500. French troops launched their first ground attack against the fighters on January 16. MYA/HMV/HJL