UK

Algeria crisis: Hostage's wife 'so proud'

Sebastian John
Image caption Nicola John described her husband Sebastian as "the most amazing person"

The wife of a British man killed in the Algeria hostage crisis has spoken of being "so proud" of her husband.

Sebastian John has been named by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as being one of the victims of the siege.

His wife, Nicola John, said the Loughborough University graduate was "the most amazing person... a fantastic husband, father, son and brother".

Six UK nationals are thought to have been among 37 foreigners killed in the attack at the In Amenas gas plant.

Mrs John added: "There won't be a moment that goes by where we won't think of him.

"We are so proud of Sebastian for all he achieved in his life. He was taken away from us too early and in the most tragic circumstances.

"We will always love him, he will be forever in our hearts and eternally missed. Please respect our privacy at this difficult time."

Four-day siege

The Foreign Office would not confirm any further details about Mr John.

A spokesman for Norwich School said he attended the independent school between 1997 and 2004. He won an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship, a national award for promising work in design and technology, in the sixth form.

Former Norwich School headmaster Chris Brown said: "It is ten years since I left Norwich School but I can still see him so clearly in my mind's eye. His openness of manner and approach, his interest in design and engineering stay with me.

"A life cut off at such an age with such promise is always a heart rending loss."

Mr John went to Loughborough University where he gained a first-class honours degree in civil engineering in 2009. It is understood that he lived in the Nottingham area after graduating.

A former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Richard Coackley, said Mr John was "a talented young civil engineer with the world at his feet".

He added: "His mild-mannered, supportive nature made him a pleasure to be around and his commitment and passion for his work and his young family shone through in all that he did.

"It was an absolute honour and a pleasure to have him as my apprentice last year and I know he will be greatly missed by all."

Mr John worked for the Arup Group between 2010 and September last year and a director of the company, Robert Care, said: "Our hearts go out to his family during this time.

"He was a truly outstanding graduate, a former Institution of Civil Engineers president's apprentice and made a fantastic contribution to numerous projects during his time at Arup. He was hugely respected by his colleagues and had a very bright future ahead of him."

Image caption The first British victim to be named was Paul Thomas Morgan, aged 46

The first confirmed victim - 46-year-old security expert Paul Thomas Morgan - was named in a statement by the family previously released via the Foreign Office, while 59-year-old planning manager Kenneth Whiteside, from Glenrothes, Fife and systems supervisor Garry Barlow, 49, from Liverpool have been named as victims by relatives.

A fourth Briton believed to have been killed has been named locally, in Perthshire, as Carson Bilsland.

Carlos Estrada, a Colombian BP executive who lived in London, is also thought to have died.

The four-day siege is thought to have left as many as 48 hostages dead.

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

'Traumatic experience'

Among them was Lou Fear, who is reported to live in Louth, Lincolnshire.

His family have issued a statement following his arrival back in the UK, which said: "The family is greatly relieved by Lou's safe return.

"This has been a very traumatic experience for the whole family, especially Lou. Our thoughts are with Lou's colleagues and their families.

"We now need to start the process of coming to terms with what has happened and need time alone to do this. We therefore ask that the media respect our privacy."

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said 37 foreigners from eight nationalities were killed during the siege. As many as 48 hostages, including Algerians, are thought to have died in total.

The dead or missing also include workers from the US, Japan, Norway, Romania, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Mr Sellal said 29 militants had been killed and three captured alive.

Algerian officials said the hostage-takers - from six different nationalities - belonged to a new Islamist group formed by a veteran Algerian militant and kidnapper, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who recently broke from al-Qaeda.

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