A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Raid in Algeria

I've been holding off on posting about the Algerian raid to free the hostages in the Sahara because reports have been so confusing and conflicted. It does seem that there are a large number of dead hostages, most apparently Algerian workers; it's also known that the hostages represented perhaps a dozen or so foreign nationalities.

Though the hostage-takers claimed to be retaliating for French intervention in Mali, kidnapping for ransom has a long history in Algeria, and while there's little question that this incident is a symptom of the worsening security situation in the Sahara generally. Algeria is reportedly saying the perpetrators entered the country from Libya. I'll say more if we learn more.

Two French-language sites are live-updating: Le Monde here, and Le Point here, and seem to be faster than the English-language sites, if you read French. More to come.

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