Algeria hostage ordeal 'horrendous'

Scots hostages in Algeria are said to have been through an 'horrendous ordeal' (AP)

Scots hostages in Algeria are said to have been through an 'horrendous ordeal' (AP)

First published in National News © by

Scots caught up in the Algerian hostage crisis have been through an "horrendous ordeal", Scotland's Justice Secretary has said.

Kenny MacAskill said two workers with Scottish connections are still missing, feared dead, after the four-day siege at the In Amenas gas facility finally ended on Saturday.

Three British nationals are now known to have died and three more are believed to be dead. A Colombian-born UK resident is also thought to have died.

Mr MacAskill told BBC Scotland: "We know that eight got back safe and sound, and are now back with their families, apart from one who I think decided to stop off with friends in London. But we do believe that two Scots or those with an immediate family connection in Scotland are believed to be among the missing presumed dead."

Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme, he said workers from Scotland came from all over the country and Strathclyde Police provided a co-ordination role, such as dedicating a family liaison officer to each family.

"As the victims who have survived come home, they will be in contact to see what counselling can be provided because even those who have survived have been through a horrendous ordeal, as we have seen on the television, and we will be making sure, through police and other agencies, that appropriate contact is provided," he added.

Mr MacAskill also said no-one could have anticipated the "horrendous attack", adding: "Algeria is a country I know well, having visited myself many years ago and my own father worked there some considerable time back, so I know the country. It has ebbed and flowed, it had got better, but there has always been difficulties there and, indeed, as we see whether in Mali or indeed in Libya, both of which are adjacent to Algeria, there are ongoing problems.

"But I don't think anybody could have anticipated such a horrendous attack that has seen the death, not only of those with a Scottish connection or a UK connection, but people from many, many countries around the world, not least Algeria."

First Minister Alex Salmond confirmed that two Scots were among those feared dead. BP employee Alan Wright, 37, from Portsoy in Aberdeenshire, is among one of the survivors to have returned to the UK. He was working at the plant when the Islamist terrorists stormed the compound.

The father-of-two hid in an office for 24 hours before joining Algerian colleagues in cutting their way through a fence and fleeing. He told Sky News: "If you have been captured, there's pretty much no escape and it is going to take a miracle to get you out. The first cut of the fence, the wire and tension makes such a noise when it breaks and you knew it travelled to where the terrorists were. But within 30 seconds they had both fences open and we were free to go, that was it."

Comments

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree