Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

British hostage 'executed' in Algerian oil field massacre

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 22nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

At least three British hostages have been confirmed dead in an Algerian oilfield massacre, described as the worst international hostage crisis in several decades. As officials scramble to locate another three missing Britons, British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged help to "find and dismantle" the network responsible.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The first confirmed British victim, Paul Thomas Morgan has been named in a statement by the family released via the Foreign Office, while Kenny Whiteside and Garry Barlow have been named as victims by relatives. A fourth Briton believed to have been killed has been named locally, in Perthshire, as Carson Bilsland.

Cameron says that his government will "work closely with the Algerian government to learn the lessons of this attack and to deepen our security co-operation.

"And we will contribute British intelligence and counter-terrorism assets to an international effort to find and dismantle the network that planned and ordered the brutal assault," he said.

"We must work right across the region."

A deadly four-day siege at a gas plant near the town of In Amenas, in eastern Algeria, is believed to have left as many as 48 hostages dead.

Whiteside's brother Bob said he had been told by one of his brother's colleagues that he had been "executed as the Algerian army went in the first time - they just lined up four and shot them."

Bob Whiteside said his family had found out about his brother's death through a Facebook message from the Algerian colleague. "We were not given any official information and it was through Facebook, of all things, that we found out of Kenny's demise."

Police had visited him this past weekend to confirm the death of his 59-year-old brother, who lived with his wife and two daughters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

A Colombian based in the United Kingdom is also thought to have been killed in the siege.

Twenty-two British survivors have since been flown back to the U.K. and reunited with their families.

Prime Minister Cameron said that in Algeria, as in Somalia, "terrorist activity has been fed by hostage ransoms and wider criminality.

"To date, the threat it poses has been to these North African states themselves and, of course, to Western interests in those states.

"But as it escalates it is also becoming a magnet for jihadists from other countries who share this poisonous ideology."

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)