Freed hostage ‘relieved to be out’

A Scottish man held hostage in Algeria has spoken of his relief at being rescued.

Iain Strachan, 38, from Howwood in Renfrewshire, was among 100 foreign workers freed from terrorists who attacked a BP oil plant at In Amenas on Thursday.

Speaking on Algerian television, Mr Strachan said he was “very relieved to be out”.

“Obviously we still don’t really know what’s happening back on site,” he said.

“So, as much as we’re glad to be out, our thoughts are with colleagues who are still there at the moment.”

He said the Algerian army’s assistance has been “fantastic”.

“I’ve never been so relieved as when they came and got us off site,” he said.

“We thank them very much for that.”

Another hostage, Mark Grant, 29, from Grangemouth, reportedly texted his wife to let her know he was safe.

The message read: “I’m safe. Got me out this afternoon. With the Algerian army.”

Alan Wright, 37, of Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, and Kenneth Whiteside, originally from Glenrothes, Fife, but now based in Johannesburg, South Africa, were also reportedly held in the attack.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Algerian hostage crisis will remain the Government’s “top priority” until every British national at the BP gas plant is accounted for.

Around 10 UK workers at the remote desert complex are thought still to be “at risk” as Algerian special forces continue to hunt the site for the remaining terrorists.

The Algerian state news agency APS reported that 12 foreign and Algerian workers and 18 Islamist militants had been killed.

Details remain sketchy but the figures suggest that around a dozen of the original group of 30 heavily armed terrorists could still be holed up at the complex – possibly still holding hostages.

APS reported that around 100 of the 132 foreign workers at the site had been freed along with 573 locally employed staff.

Original source:

Freed hostage ‘relieved to be out’

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