Baird condemns deadly Algeria hostage-taking

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird discusses the conflict in Mali during a meeting at his office in Ottawa January 16, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS/Patrick Doyle


OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird condemned the
deadly hostage-taking at a natural gas plant in Algeria last week.

"Canada condemns the deplorable and cowardly attacks by terrorists in Ain Amenas, Algeria, " he said in statement Saturday.

Islamist militants seized the remote compound in the Sahara desert before dawn on Wednesday and booby-trapped the compound with explosives.

Up to 23 hostages, many of them believed to be foreigners, were killed. Several others remain unaccounted for.

The foreign affairs department said it didn't believe any Canadians or dual nationals were among the

hostages and confirmed one Canadian permanent resident who was reported on-site was safe and no longer in Algeria.

Baird said that while details were still being fleshed out, Canadian officials are remaining in close contact with Algerian authorities.

"The thoughts and prayers of our entire country are with the families and friends of the innocent lives lost," he said.

On Friday, the department also confirmed it was looking into reports a Canadian was among the hostage takers.

--with files from Reuters

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