Malaysians feared dead in Algeria

KUALA LUMPUR - Officials said Monday they fear that one Malaysian is dead while another still is missing in the kidnapping disaster in Algeria.

Foreign Affairs Minister Anifah Aman said in a statement thata representative from JGC Construction Pte Ltd, the company that employed the Malaysians, had informed the embassy on the latest developments, according to a report Monday morning in the New Straits Times newspaper.

The missing are Chong Ngen Chung and Tan Pin Wee.

"The Malaysian embassy will exert all efforts to work closely with the Algerian authorities and JGC Construction Pte Ltd to verify further the latest news concerning the two Malaysians," the government-run Bernama news agency quoted the minister's statement as saying.

Officials from the Malaysian embassy in Algiers met with the three Malaysians rescued in the hostage drama.

They have been transferred to the Algerian capital and arrangements are being made to bring them back to Malaysia.

Reports in the early hours of the kidnapping drama said that Thais had been captured by the al-Qaeda group responsible for the violence, but that proved untrue.

Five Malaysians were among 130 workers of various nationalities at the In Amenas Oil and Gas Production Complex in Algeria taken hostage by the militants.

It is believed that the incident was an act of revenge against the Algerian government for allowing the country's air space to be used by French fighter jets to attack Islamist rebels in Mali.

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