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Algeria siege horror survivor ‘went through hell’

A soldier, and rescue vehicles are seen near Ain Amenas, the gas plant where the hostage taking occurred,  Sunday Jan. 20, 2013. Algeria's special forces stormed the natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert in a final assault Saturday, killing 11 militants, but not before they in turn killed seven hostages, the state news agency reported. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

A soldier, and rescue vehicles are seen near Ain Amenas, the gas plant where the hostage taking occurred, Sunday Jan. 20, 2013. Algeria's special forces stormed the natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert in a final assault Saturday, killing 11 militants, but not before they in turn killed seven hostages, the state news agency reported. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

 

A Tathwell man was among some 100 foreign hostages who escaped an armed siege by al-Qaeda extremists at a gas plant in North Africa.

BP engineer Lou Fear, 56, is thought to have fled when Algerian troops launched an assault on the In Amenas plant in the country on Sunday, before trekking through the Sahara Desert and being rescued.

Overall nearly 800 hostages escaped with their lives, but at least 37 workers including three Britons were killed during the four-day siege.

Mr Fear, who lives in Tathwell, three miles south of Louth, was seen on Algerian state television after the rescue describing his ordeal.

A family member, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that Mr Fear had arrived home safely, but added that he had ‘been through hell’ and was concerned for his colleagues.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said the aim of the attack had been to ‘blow up the gas plant’, and that he believed the attack had been pre-planned as opposed to a retaliation to the recent French military action in Mali.

Overall 29 of the kidnappers were killed during the crisis, which began when militants attacked two buses transporting workers at the Tiguentourine plant.

Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement on Sunday: “I know the whole country will want to join with me in sending our sympathy and our condolences to the families who’ve undergone an absolutely dreadful ordeal and now face life without these very precious loved ones.”

He said in the House of Commons on Monday: “Working closely with BP – and side by side with our US, Japanese and Norwegian partners – a swift international evacuation effort has been completed.

“We should also recognise all that the Algerians have done to confront this dreadful attack.”

 

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