Algerian soldiers kill militants behind gas plant attack
Iran Press TV
Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:55PM
Algeria's military has killed at least four militants in a desert region where an Algerian gas plant jointly operated by foreign energy giants came under attack with rocket-propelled grenades.
An Algerian security source said on Sunday that three militants were also wounded in the desert region of Ain Saleh where Krechba gas facility is located.
Sources noted that the slain militants had been involved in subversive activities, including the Friday attack on the gas plant.
The anti-militant operation came two days after the gas facility operated by Norway's Statoil and Britain's BP was hit by explosive munitions in the troubled region, which is situated 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) south of the capital Algiers.
Although no casualties were reported in the attack, the facility was closed as a precaution. State energy company Sonatrach also said the country's gas production had not been affected.
Reacting to the violence, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Saturday called on the people to be vigilant because of violence in neighboring countries, referring to Libya and Tunisia.
Algerians "more than ever must be united, be vigilant and mobilize to safeguard the integrity of our state which shares borders with many countries shaken by violent crises," Bouteflika said.
Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate has already claimed responsibility for the Friday attack on the gas plant. The al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist group released a statement directed at the Algerian government and western oil companies.
The Algerian government says the country's oil and gas infrastructure has been heavily protected.
However, gas facilities have come under militant attacks across the North African country in recent years. Back in 2013, nearly 40 people lost their lives in a hostage-taking at another gas plant in Algeria, also operated by BP and Statoil.
In recent months, al-Qaeda terror attacks have also left dozens of people dead in several West African countries such as Ivory Coast, Mali and Burkina Faso.
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