13 Norwegians Taken Hostage at Statoil’s In Amenas Facility in Algeria

UPDATE

At 04.00 Algerian forces have surrounded the gas plant, according to BBC.

According to Al Jazeera, one of the captors said that snipers from the Algerian army has fired at them. Two hostages have been hurt in this shooting. The man threatened to kill a British hostage, if the attack continues, according to television channel. 

Three hostages also asked the army to withdraw. Captors demanded that the Algerian army withdraws to start negotiations. 

On Wednesday morning, Norwegian oil gian, Statoil was notified of a serious situation involving an attack and hostage action on the In Amenas gas production facility in Algeria. 

In Amenas is a wet gas field operated through a joint venture between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. Statoil’s emergency response organisation is now mobilised. Algerian authorities are handling the situation locally, while Norwegian and British authorities have also been informed of the incident. 

Statoil has just under 20 employees at the facility, and more than 13 of these are Norwegian. 

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that 13 Norwegians involved in Wednesday’s hostage drama in Algeria, and said the government has now sent a team to the country. 

-Several countries have been affected. We have contacts with foreign leaders to coordinate the extensive rescue effort in the country. Norway follows the serious situation – we will not speculate on who was responsible. Tonight is our mission to get our people home safely, said he in the press conference.

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