Northern Ireland man 'abducted' by Islamist militants in Algeria

Map of Algeria showing In Amenas

Related Stories

A man from Northern Ireland travelling on an Irish passport is among several foreigners abducted by Islamist militants in eastern Algeria.

Algerian security officials say one person was killed and others abducted in an attack on a gas facility at In Amenas in the east of the country.

Islamist militants allied to Al-Qaeda say they carried out the attack.

Ireland's deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore has called for the man's immediate release.

"The government stands ready to use all the resources available to us to ensure that our citizen is released as soon as possible," he said.

"I would ask that the family be allowed privacy at this difficult time."

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the family and was in close contact with its international partners and a wide range of other contacts in order to establish the facts of the situation.

The oil giant BP says a gas field it runs in partnership with Norwegians and Algerians was attacked.

The British Foreign Office confirms its nationals have been working in the area where a "terrorist incident is ongoing". But a spokesperson could not say whether British staff had been abducted.

A Japanese contractor at the In Amenas field, JGC Corp, says Japanese staff have been seized, according to Japanese media.

Militants abducted staff from the gas field at In Amenas Militants abducted staff from the gas field at In Amenas

Early reports said five Japanese nationals and a Frenchman had been seized, but a Western diplomat told the French news agency AFP those abducted included British and Norwegian staff.

The Algerian army has begun an operation to recover the hostages.

The In Amenas gas field is a joint operation by BP, the Algerian state oil company, Sonatrach, and the Norwegian state energy firm, Statoil.

The attack comes as French ground forces are preparing to engage Islamist militants in Algeria's southern neighbour, Mali.

Algeria has been allowing French aircraft to use its air space to attack targets in Mali.

The militants, who called themselves the Khaled Abul Abbas Brigade, said they had travelled from northern Mali to launch the attack.

Islamist militants in the region have in recent years seized a number of foreigners, mainly in Mali. Eight French nationals are currently being held across the region.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

BBC News NI Live

  1.  
    18:19: Delays in east Belfast:

    Translink tweets:

    East Belfast
     
  2.  
    18:18: Derry woman made organ ambassador: Derry Journal

    The Derry Journal reports that Londonderry woman Lisa Orsi, who died this morning in Singapore, is to be honoured by the government there posthumously as an ambassador for organ donation.

    Lisa Orsi
     
  3.  
    18:10: Erosion warning for Royal Portrush: Andy West BBC News NI

    The golf course manager at Royal Portrush has warned that erosion on the north coast could create problems on the course before the British Open is due to be staged there over the next few years.

    Royal Portrush erosion

    Graeme Beatt said: "The last thing that we would need is for the tee to disappear into the sea. It's a big problem for us." See more on BBC Newsline at 18:30.

     
  4.  
    18:00: Adams on Paul Quinn murder:

    BBC News NI political editor Mark Devenport tweets:

    Inside politics
     
  5.  
    17:51: Key pair set to return for Crusaders: BBC Sport NI

    League leaders Crusaders have key pair Colin Coates and Paul Heatley available again for Saturday's Premiership game against struggling Institute at Seaview.

    Paul Heatley

    Skipper Coates is back from suspension, while influential midfielder Heatley returns after missing last weekend's Irish Cup win over Carrick Rangers.

     
  6.  
    17:41: McGarry handed Down debut: BBC Sport NI

    Down have given a senior debut to Ross McGarry for Sunday's Division Two encounter against Galway in Newry.

    Ross McGarry in action for Down minors in 2009

    The forward gets a chance to impress while Niall Madine and Darren O'Hagan miss out because of injury.

     
  7.  
    17:30: Robinson rails against broadcasters:

    DUP leader Peter Robinson has reacted to the news that broadcasters have said plans for three TV debates before the general election will go ahead, despite David Cameron saying he will only take part in one.

    Peter Robinson

    Mr Robinson told Sky News: "If any government department behaved in the way that the broadcasters are behaving we would be looking for resignations - indeed you would be looking for resignations if that was the case. Let's be clear you have been hammering a nail into your own coffin."

     
  8.  
    17:29: Rush hour traffic: BBC NI Travel

    Traffic's busy on the M1 at the Saintfield Road, It's also busy on the Sydenham bypass towards Holywood.

     
  9.  
    17:18: Translink board extension:

    Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has announced the short-term extension of the appointment of a member of the board of Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC).

    Translink sign

    Angela Coffey, who was appointed to the board on 1 July 2008, will serve as a non-executive member of the board for a further six months until 1 January 2016.

     
  10.  
    17:09: Ireland confident ahead of Zimbabwe clash: BBC Sport NI

    Ireland opener Paul Stirling is confident ahead of Saturday's crunch World Cup Pool B game against Zimbabwe.

    Ireland training session at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart

    Stirling smashed 92 against the West Indies to help his side secure the first of their two wins, leaving them two points clear of Zimbabwe.

     
  11.  
    17:00: Kennedy pressed to publish report:

    The Committee for Regional Development is using its statutory powers to require Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy to produce the project assessment review (PAR) report into the Coleraine to Londonderry rail track project.

    Danny Kennedy

    The minister has until 13:00 on Monday 23 March to give the report to the committee.

     
  12.  
    16:53: Foyle bridge restrictions:

    Trafficwatch NI tweets:

    Foyle bridge
     
  13.  
    16:50: Shot men fail to appear in court:

    Two men due to appear in court today failed to show after they were shot last night.

    Newry Crown Court heard that Martin Young, of Glenbawn Park, and James Bingham, of Causeway End Road, Lisburn, were treated in hospital for gunshot wounds to their legs but had since been discharged.

    They were due before the court charged with supplying a Class A controlled drug. Arrest warrants have been issued.

     
  14.  
    16:43: First Ulster start for Stanley: BBC Sport NI

    Samoan Mike Stanley will make his first start for Ulster in one of two changes for the Pro12 clash against the Dragons on Sunday.

    Mike Stanley

    Stanley and Iain Henderson come into the side for Luke Marshall and Roger Wilson who are both banned. Darren Cave will also captain Ulster for the first time.

     
  15.  
    16:29: Catch up: Soak on Radio 1's Live Lounge

    You can now catch up on Londonderry singer songwriter Bridie Monds Watson, aka Soak, performing on BBC Radio 1's live lounge yesterday.

    Soak

    The 18-year-old has been been named on the Sound of 2015 longlist.

     
  16.  
    16:18: BBC NI Travel

    A crash at the Belmont Road roundabout is causing delays for drivers heading towards the A55 Hawthornden Way (Outer Ring).

     
  17.  
    16:17: BBC NI Travel

    A crash on the Ravenhill Road just after the Ormeau Embankment is causing delays to drivers leaving the city centre.

     
  18.  
    16:15: Family rejects Adams claim over murder: Gordon Adair BBC News NI

    Relatives of a murdered County Armagh man have rejected claims by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams that criminals were responsible for the killing.

    Paul Quinn from Cullyhanna was 21 when was he found beaten in the Republic of Ireland. He died later in hospital. His family blames the IRA for his murder.

    Stephen and Breege Quinn

    Mr Adams said last Sunday that "a small handful of criminals who are using the border for their own purposes" were responsible for killing him.

     
  19.  
    16:05: Salvation Army parade: News Letter

    The News Letter reports that up to 500 members of the Salvation Army from around the world will take part in a parade through Belfast on Sunday to mark 135 years since its formation.

    Salvation Army
     
  20.  
    15:56: Man jailed for brother's death

    An east Belfast man who caused the death of his brother by careless driving through drink or drugs was jailed today for nine months.

    John Andrews

    John Andrews from Rosneath Court in Dundonald admitted causing the death of his brother Marc Andrews, 32, on 11 March 2013.

     
  21.  
    15:48: Cat threat letters: Belfast Telegraph

    The Belfast Telegraph reports that someone has sent a letter to people in east Belfast threatening to poison any cats that stray into their garden.

    Cats

    East Belfast MP Naomi Long who has sought a meeting with police over the letters that have circulated in Dundonald.

     
  22.  
    15:36: Belfast traffic:

    BBC NI Travel tweets:

    Belfast traffic 6 March 2015
     
  23.  
    15:32: Money owed to Harland & Wolff workers:

    Around 200 workers at Harland and Wolff have not been paid money due to them, because of an administrative error, a union has said.

    Byford Dolphin being towed into Belfast

    Some workers are owed hundreds of pounds in flexible shift work payments.

     
  24.  
    15:15: Hughes inducted into Hall of Fame: Carrick Times

    The Carrick Times reports that former NI international Michael Hughes has been inducted into Larne's Sporting Hall of Fame.

    Michael Hughes has been appointed Carrick manager on a permanent basis
     
  25.  
    15:05: Travel award for Titanic:

    Titanic Belfast has been named one of Europe's best visitor attraction for groups in the European Group Travel Awards.

    Titanic Belfast

    The attraction edged out the Eiffel Tower, London Eye and Monet's Garden to claim the prize in Berlin.

     
  26.  
    14:53: 'Abduction link' in M1 car crash:

    Police are investigating a possible link between the abduction of a woman in County Down and a stolen car crash on the M1 earlier today.

    Scene of crash
     
  27.  
    14:43: Highest and lowest wages:

    BBC News NI economics editor John Campbell tweets:

    John Campbell tweet
     
  28.  
    14:28: Robinson: DUP could hold "balance of power"

    DUP leader Peter Robinson says that his party's MPs could "hold the balance of power" at Westminster if there is a hung parliament after May's general election.

    Peter Robinson

    Mr Robinson told a business breakfast in east Belfast: "Unlike other parties we are not ideologically tied to any one of the major parties at Westminster but can do business with either the Conservatives or Labour."

     
  29.  
    14:18: Johnson considering Irish open appearance:

    BBC Sport NI presenter Stephen Watson tweets:

    Stephen Walker

    American Dustin Johnson took time out of the game for six months to confront "personal challenges".

     
  30.  
    14:12: Tyrone roadworks:

    Trafficwatch NI tweets:

    Tyrone roadworks
     
  31.  
    14:05: Wind farm policy change welcomed: News Letter

    The News Letter reports that campaigners against wind turbines have welcomed the recommendation for Northern Ireland to revamp its whole approach to wind farms.

    Wind turbine

    The Department of the Environment told the News Letter that it was reviewing its policy and would consider issues such as separation distances.

     
  32.  
    13:55: Free books 'under threat':

    A literacy charity says that it may have to stop free book programmes in Northern Ireland after having its funding cut by the Department of Education.

    Booktrust packs

    Booktrust says it gave out 50,000 free packs of books for babies and pre-school children last year, thanks to a £250,000 grant. It is now looking for alternative funding.

     
  33.  
    13:42: Mooney helmet aims to prevents injury: BBC Sport

    Ireland's John Mooney says the self-designed helmet he is wearing at the World Cup can prevent batsmen from suffering a serious injury.

    John Mooney

    Australia batsman Phillip Hughes died after being struck on the back of the neck by a short delivery at the Sydney Cricket Ground in November

     
  34.  
    13:32: Cave to captain Ulster:

    BBC Sport NI presenter Stephen Watson tweets:

    Darren Cave captain
     
  35.  
    13:19: Union 'in talks' over strike protocols:

    The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) says that the union Unison is in talks over protocols to protect emergency services during a proposed strike next week.

    Ambulance

    NIAS says it's aware of a "statement prepared by Unison to correct inaccuracies" in a newspaper article.

     
  36.  
    13:04: Bearded beats: BBC Talkback

    Looks like William's got a new gig - he's been recruited as the newest recruit of Northern Ireland band Runabay.

    Runabay

    Well he's got the bearded look for it. The group will be performing in the BBC Talkback studio before 13:30.

     
  37.  
    12:45: Union respond to ambulance strike story:

    The union Unison says it has made proposals for emergency cover during proposed ambulance staff strike action next Friday.

    Emergency crew

    Unison says the ambulance service must identify external ambulance workers to be deployed on the day and inform the union of any gaps that may exist.

     
  38.  
    12:32: Monthly bin collection trial to end:

    A trial that cut the number of household black bin collections from once a fortnight to once a month is to end on 31 March.

    Black bins

    Shadow councillors for the new Armagh Banbridge Craigavon super council have been told that though reaction to the trial was mostly positive, it will come to an end at the start of April.

     
  39.  
    12:21: DUP councillor disciplinary reaction:

    It's been reported that DUP councillor, Jenny Palmer, who told a Stormont committee she was "bullied" by a party advisor is to be brought before a party disciplinary committee.

    Jenny Palmer tweet 6 March 2015

    As councillor Palmer tweeted: this morning

     
  40.  
    12:08: Same again for Armagh: BBC Sport NI

    Kieran McGeeney has kept faith with the team that beat Limerick for the top-of-the-table Division Three game against Fermanagh tomorrow.

    Kieran McGeeney
     
  41.  
    11:58: Councillor 'summoned to disciplinary':

    Jenny Palmer, a DUP councillor who said she was "bullied" by a party adviser, has been summoned to a disciplinary hearing according to reports in the Belfast Telegraph.

    Jenny Palmer
     
  42.  
    11:55: A Grey area for world book day: BBC Talkback

    Watch BBC Talkback presenter William Crawley tell you what's coming on BBC Talkback today. Would you dress up your 11-year-old as Christian Grey from 50 Shades?

    BBC Talkback 6 March 2015

    Liam Scholes was excluded from his school's World Book Day celebrations for dressing as a character from Fifty Shades of Grey, according to his mother.

     
  43.  
    11:50: Derry woman Lisa Orsi dies

    A 22-year-old woman from Londonderry has died in in Singapore General Hospital after collapsing while on holiday last month.

    Lisa Orsi

    Lisa Orsi had been in a coma after she collapsed following a trip to a volcano. Nine of her organs will be donated.

     
  44.  
    11:44: Teachers union votes not to strike:

    NASUWT, the largest teachers' union in Northern Ireland, has decided not to escalate its current industrial action to strike action on 13 March following a meeting last night.

    No strike action

    NASUWT remains in continuous industrial action, short of strike action, over its dispute with the education minister over pay, pensions, workload and job losses.

     
  45.  
    11:36: Ruane criticises police recruitment:

    Policing board member Caitríona Ruane MLA has called on the chief constable to take action to increase the number of women police officers after he said that only 20% of women who apply to the force pass the fitness test.

    Catriona Ruane

    She said: "Not only is that insulting to women, it could also put off potential recruits, particularly young women."

     
  46.  
    11:26: Hurler could make football debut: BBC Sport NI

    Christopher McGuinness won an All-Ireland hurling title three weeks ago and he could make his Antrim football debut against London at Cargin.

    Christopher McGuinness celebrates the All-Ireland success with O'Donovan Rossa

    McGuinness captained O'Donovan Rossa to intermediate club success but he has made the switch to football and is on the bench for the Division Four game.

     
  47.  
    11:11: One of three murder charges dropped: Gordon Adair BBC News NI

    Dromore man Leslie Ross is to stand trial for the murders of two women; Michelle Bickerstaff and Margaret Weise.

    He will not, however, stand trial over the death of a third woman, Lily McKee.

     
  48.  
    10:56: Tobacco display ban:

    The Department of Health is reminding people that there is one month to go until all retailers, including shops, bars and clubs are banned from displaying tobacco products.

    Tobacco displays

    The new law comes into force on 6 April. Tobacco displays in large shops and supermarkets were banned in October 2012.

     
  49.  
    10:43: McCoy's top 10: BBC Sport NI

    It's nearly the end of a glorious career for AP McCoy. The 19-time champion jockey retires at the end of this season and, in looking back, he has revealed his top 10 favourite horses.

    AP McCoy

    You can read the rundown or listen back to last night's BBC 5 live programme where he explains his choices.

     
  50.  
    10:30: From film to farm: Nicola Weir BBC NI News

    Here's me with the real Boogaloo and Graham, stars of the Oscar-nominated short film. I met them at Fort Hill Farm, Tandragee, that supplies animals to various movies and TV shows filmed in Northern Ireland.

    Nicola Weir

    I spoke to Kenny Gracey, who owns the farm, for the Stephen Nolan Show.

     
  51.  
    10:18: Unionist 'should agree' pacts:

    A former Ulster Unionist MP says the DUP should step aside in Fermanagh and South Tyrone and allow the UUP a free run in the general election to try and oust Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew.

    Martin Smith

    Rev Martin Smyth told BBC's The View that DUP and UUP should co-operate in order to maximise the unionist vote.

     
  52.  
    10:07: McIlroy down the field: BBC Sport NI

    Rory McIlroy's poor form continued with a one-over-par 73 in the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, leaving him 11 shots off the lead.

    Rory McIlroy

    But McIlroy, who started on the back nine, did recover from being four over at halfway, fighting back with three birdies and an eagle.

     
  53.  
    09:57: Changeable weather: Angie Phillips BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    Temperatures and weather will see-saw over the weekend. It'll be wet and windy again Monday then drier and brighter on Tuesday.

    Friday weather
     
  54.  
    09:42: Civil servants register interest in redundancy scheme John Campbell BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor
    civil service redundancy
     
  55.  
    09:31: Derry "mad as hell": Derry Journal

    Veteran rights campaigner Eamonn McCann says Londonderry remains "mad as hell" over the decision 50 years ago not to create a major university presence in the city, the Derry Journal reports.

    Magee
     
  56.  
    09:19: Sprucefield collision moved: BBC NI Travel

    Collision on the M1 at Sprucefield has been moved to hard shoulder, therefore traffic heading towards Belfast should ease soon on M1 and A1.

     
  57.  
    09:02: Man arrested after M1 crash

    A 29 year old man has been arrested after a collision on the M1 at Sprucefield this morning which is still causing long tailbacks.

    traffic tailback

    It follows the theft of a car at Banbridge at 7.40am. The man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and dangerous driving.

     
  58.  
    08:58: Extra smoke breaks? Good Morning Ulster

    Should smokers get special rights and extra breaks at work? That's the question posed by Good Morning Ulster reporter Rick Faragher in this morning's programme.

    Smoking

    Charities have appealed for employers to help staff who smoke to quit.

     
  59.  
    08:44: Man 'trapped in machinery':

    Harbour police confirm that the man who was seriously injured yesterday at Hayes Fuels in Belfast, was trapped in machinery.

    Man trapped
     
  60.  
    08:34: Tyrone unchanged: BBC Sport NI

    Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has named an unchanged side for Saturday's Division One match away to Dublin.

    Mattie Donnelly

    Harte has picked a half-forward line made up entirely of recognised defenders for the trip to Croke Park, including Mattie Donnelly.

     
  61.  
    08:21: Waterside repair underway Northern Ireland Water

    A number of homes are off supply at Tirbracken Road in Londonderry due to a burst main. A repair is underway and it's hoped to have supply restored soon.

     
  62.  
    08:12: M1 crash causing tailbacks

    The situation at the M1 collision at Sprucefield.

    crash

    Traffic appears to be passing in the outside lane looking at the Traffic Watch NI cameras.

     
  63.  
    08:02: M1 blocked at Sprucefield BBC NI Travel

    Collision on M1 at Sprucefield. Two lanes blocked heading towards Belfast

     
  64.  
    07:49: Carrick train cancelled: Translink
    tweet
     
  65.  
    07:41: No Evans response to spitting charge: BBC Sport NI

    Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans has yet to respond to an FA charge but has denied deliberately spitting at Papiss Cisse.

    Jonny Evans

    Cisse has accepted a similar charges and released a statement apologising for his actions.

     
  66.  
    07:29: Weekend weather: Angie Phillips BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    I have your latest online video forecast for today & the weekend

    weather
     
  67.  
    07:15: Shot men stable:

    Two men in their 30s are in a stable condition after being shot in the legs in Poleglass, on the outskirts of west Belfast.

    Poleglass

    It happened in the Glenkeen area at about 20:45 GMT on Thursday.

     
  68.  
    07:02: Hurt man 'critical':

    The Belfast Health Trust says that the man hurt in a workplace incident at Hayes Fuels in Belfast is still in a critical condition.

    Hayes Fuels

    The man suffered serious injuries at the premises in Belfast Harbour.

     
  69.  
    07:00: Good morning Ciaran McCauley BBC News NI

    Hope it's a good Friday for you all - we'll be bringing you all the news, sport, weather and travel up until 19:00.

     

Features

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.