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One Romanian dead, four rescued in Algeria hostage crisis: PM

01-20-2013 03:03 BJT

BUCHAREST, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- A Romanian citizen was killed and four were rescued the Algeria hostage crisis, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Saturday.

"Moments ago it was confirmed that a Romanian citizen lost his life amid the event," said Ponta.

The prime minister also announced that another Romanian citizen was released Saturday, being the fourth citizen of the country to have been released by now.

It seems that the Bucharest authorities have no details about the number of Romanians caught in the tragedy at the In Amenas gas plant in the southern Algerian desert.

The foreign ministry on Friday evening confirmed the release of three Romanians. The ministry said that it is in permanent contact with the Algerian authorities and the employer company to conclude the procedures to repatriate them.

On Thursday, the ministry created a crisis cell after the Algerian authorities confirmed that Romania was one of the countries whose citizens had been taken hostage.

Since Thursday, Algeria's Special Forces launched successive raids on the gas field compound to rescue the workers detained since Wednesday by an armed group linked to al-Qaida.

The hostage-takers said they were retaliating against the French military intervention against rebels in neighboring Mali.


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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