Reporting Kai Jackson
ALGERIA (WJZ)–A bloody raid in Algeria to free American hostages and dozens of others held by terrorists. At least six people are dead. Many more are still unaccounted for.
Kai Jackson has more on this developing story.
The situation unfolded rapidly. While hostages were freed, there were some casualties.
The hostage standoff at this natural gas plant in the Algerian desert is over. Algerian troops surround the compound to rescue dozens of kidnapped foreign workers, including some Americans.
Security sources told CBS News when militants moved the hostages inside the compound, Algerian helicopter gunships opened fire, killing militants and some hostages.
But there was good news for the family of an Irish hostage Steven McFaul.
“I couldn’t stop crying, and I got all excited hugging everyone,” said Dylan McFaul, son of freed hostage.
Steven McFaul recounted the rescue attempt to an Arabic TV channel as it was happening.
“We’re all booby trapped. We’re all wired up to explosives. The military is firing over the top of us,” Steven McFaul explained.
One diplomatic source says four Americans were also able to escape. Mark Cobb hid in a meeting room and got out alive.
An al-Qaeda linked terrorist group that calls itself the Masked Brigade is claiming responsibility.
The group says it took the hostages in response to Algeria’s cooperation with French troops fighting Islamic militants in neighboring Mali.
“Instability in Mali has created the opportunity for a staging base and safe haven for terrorists,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
U.S. officials say they did not receive advance notice of the Algerian rescue operation.