(NEW YORK) — Algerian TV has broadcast what it says is audiotape of terrorists at the In Amenas gas plant threatening to blow up the facility and “slaughter” U.S. hostages unless 100 imprisoned “comrades” are released, and also claiming that the hostages have been forced to wear bombs.
The recordings that aired on Algeria’s Ennahar TV were made before the four-day hostage crisis at the BP joint venture facility in the Sahara ended with nearly all terrorists and at least 23 hostages dead.
“The Americans that are here, we will kill them,” says Abdel Rahman el-Nigeri, a leader of the al Qaeda-linked terrorists who held the plant, in Arabic. “We will slaughter them.”
A second person, identified by Ennahar TV as a hostage, says, in heavily accented English, “We have prisoners. We have hostages with bombs … on the body.”
In Arabic, El-Nigeri demands that 100 “comrades” who were arrested 15 years ago be released. “Our demands are so easy, so easy if you want to negotiate with us,” says el Nigeri. “Either we get our brothers out or we die.”
He says that some hostages are still living after the Algerian military’s initial assault, but warns “we shall bomb them if the Algerian Army gets near to us. Now they are heading towards us, God willing.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN