Seven Japanese Safe, but Fate of 10 Others Unknown in Algeria Hostage Situation

Amid conflicting reports Friday about casualties among foreigners who were taken hostage at a natural gas complex in Algeria, the government and JGC Corp. confirmed the safety of seven Japanese workers but said 10 others were still missing.

A senior official said one of the Japanese workers from the Yokohama-based plant-engineering firm who were confirmed safe sustained some wounds, but they were not serious.

At first three JGC workers were confirmed safe. Then on Friday evening, a company spokesman told reporters the JGC office in Algiers had confirmed that four more were safe.

JGC also said it has received unconfirmed information that the total number of hostages is 78, including the 17 Japanese.

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Japanese Among Confirmed Hostages in Algeria

Several Japanese employees of Yokohama-based engineering company JCG Corp. were among dozens of foreign workers taken hostage by heavily armed Islamic militants at a natural gas complex in Algeria on Wednesday, the government confirmed.

Algerian troops surrounded the Islamists holding the hostages Thursday after a deadly attack the gunmen said was in reprisal for Algerias cooperation in French operations in Mali.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government was deeply concerned and will “never tolerate” the hostage-taking by the military group.

Suga declined comment on the militants possible motives, saying the government had yet to determine a full picture of the incident, though it has obtained information from various sources.

Read the rest of the story: Japanese confirmed hostage in Algeria.