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Our priority remains to provide assistance to those affected by the terrorist incident in Algeria.
The Foreign Secretary William Hague has spoken to media today about the terrorist attack in In Amenas, Algeria.
The latest and the very tragic news is that there are three British nationals who have certainly died in this terrible ordeal and there are three who we believe to have died, and another further one, a UK resident who is not a British national. That makes seven in total. There are twenty two who are now back in the UK. That represents the total number of British nationals who were involved in this.
Many of those twenty two have been through terrible experiences, but during the night we got them all back on a plane chartered by the Foreign Office, others on planes chartered by BP. They are all back being reunited with their loved ones. But of course our thoughts are with the families of the ones I was talking about earlier. We’re giving them all the support we possibly can and we should all have them in our thoughts this morning.
We set up a new crisis centre in the Foreign Office that brings together all the agencies in the British Government, so we’ve had a hundred people working in that the last few days and more than a hundred on the ground in Algeria. We were the first country to get our Ambassador down there to the vicinity yesterday and to get consular staff on the ground at Ain Amenas. So I think the Foreign Office has responded very well and I’m always looking for ways of improving that because sadly we will have these or comparable incidents from time to time.
Speaking about the terrorists the Foreign Secretary said:
These are cold blooded murderers, and we must remember that. There is no political excuse that justifies behaving in this way. These are people peacefully going about their business and they have been attacked, held hostage and murdered by people who should not be supported anywhere in the world.
The Foreign Secretary spoke to the media on 19 January