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Algeria

Yearbook 2013

Algeria. A bloody hostage frame was played in January at the Tigantourine natural gas plant near the border with Libya. Thirty heavy-armed members of a breakaway faction from Islamic Jihadist al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) stormed the facility on January 16 and besieged it.

Almost 800 employees were taken hostage, among them 134 foreigners from 26 countries. The jihadists demanded that the French offensive against Islamist separatists in Mali be stopped. Algerian special forces were deployed and after two days of confused fighting, the special forces had control of the plant. By then, at least 79 of the employees had been killed, most of them Algerians but also ten Japanese, six British and five Norwegians. 39 jihadists were also killed and three arrested. The tigantourine plant, which produces 10% of Algeria's natural gas, is operated by a joint venture with the state-owned Algerian oil company Sonatrach, together with British BP and Norwegian Statoil.

According to Countryaah, the country's president since 1999, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, spent three months between April and July in hospitals in France, reportedly for care after a stroke.

Several groups of organized unemployed youth demonstrated in March in a number of places in southern Algeria and Algeria with demands for more jobs for young people. The government responded by promising certain measures.

An Algerian doctor was sentenced in May to 12 years in prison for having taken children away and selling them as adoptive children to France. Seven other people were also sentenced to prison for interference, six of them in their absence.

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