Algeria: Taoiseach calls for release of Antrim man as some hostages reportedly escape17/01/2013 - 12:09:26
The Taoiseach has called for the immediate release of a married 36-year-old Antrim man being held captive by Islamic militants in Algeria, as news of a successful escape bid by some of the hostages begins to come through.
Enda Kenny said work was ongoing to secure the release of all the hostages.
There is a conference of foreign ministers in Brussels today, at which the hostage-taking is being discussed. Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton is representing the Government at that meeting.
Meanwhile, 15 foreigners and 30 Algerians who were being held hostage at a gas field in southeastern Algeria have reportedly managed to escape from their kidnappers.
A local television station has credited an "official source" for the information.
Earlier the APS news agency said 30 Algerian workers had managed to escape from the gas field.
Islamist gunmen say they are holding 41 foreigners hostage - including one Irish man - and are locked in a tense standoff with the Algerian army.
John Nichol is a former hostage who was kidnapped while on active service with the British Army during the Gulf War.
He has this advice for the families affected: "My personal way of dealing with it was to always have hope, to always think that at some point the ordeal might be (over); to always hold on to the thoughts of your family and your friends back home".
"For the families, I can only say that it is something to be endured - I mean it is really a truly, truly heart-breaking set of circumstances."
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