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6 Filipinos confirmed dead in Algeria siege
Publication Date : 21-01-2013
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today confirmed that six Filipinos died in the hostage crisis in Algeria and four others are still unaccounted missing.
In a press conference, DFA spokesperson Undersecretary Raul Hernandez made the announcement but declined to give details on the identities of the male fatalities.
Hernandez said that based on reports received from the Philippine government’s team in Algeria and the country’s embassy in London, a total of 26 Filipinos worked at the In Amenas gas plant deep that was attacked by al-Qaeda-linked gunmen on Wednesday.
He said that 16 Filipinos were accounted for and confirmed alive. He said that of the 16, four were in Al Azhar Clinic, four were in Mercure Hotel in Algiers awaiting repatriation, four have been repatriated or were on their way home, and that four Filipino workers were vacationing in the Philippines when the incident happened.
“The DFA is in the process of notifying kin of the six confirmed dead and coordinating the shipment of their remains and we are also locating the whereabouts of the four unaccounted for,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez, however, could not clearly state the circumstances of how the six Filipinos died but said that “it was the direct result of the hostage taking incident in the area and mostly by gunshot wounds and the effects of the explosion”.
He added that the director general of the Asia Pacific Affairs of the Algerian ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed on behalf of the Algerian government its deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Philippine government.
“He also emphasised to our Charge d’ Affaires that his government took the military action and did everything possible to prevent the further loss of life and when it was confirmed that the terrorist has started executing some of the foreign hostages,” Hernandez said.