Algeria siege survivors recall brutal ordeal



LONDON // As they prowled the Ain Amenas gas complex for hostages, the gunmen who attacked the Algerian site discovered a brutal but effective tactic to persuade foreign workers to come out of hiding.

They threatened a British man into calling out to his colleagues, according to an Algerian worker, Chabene, who heard the exchange before he escaped.

He said they ordered the man to yell, "'They're not going to kill you. They're looking for the Americans'. A few minutes later they blew him away."

After the hostage crisis was finally brought to a bloody end on Saturday by the Algerian military, with the deaths of at least 25 foreigners and Algerians, a picture has begun to emerge of the horror and savagery of the attack.

In the past few days, survivors have told how they were strapped to explosives, and the apparent leader of the militants, Abdul Rahman Al Nigeri, confirmed that he was ready at any time to blow up the hostages.

"By Allah, we will blow them up if the Algerian army gets close to us," he warned in a recording broadcast on Saturday.

One Briton and one Algerian were killed in the first attack by gunmen on a bus on Wednesday morning, before the militants stormed the complex, but witnesses said that nine Japanese workers also died in the first frantic hours, three of whom were shot trying to escape.

"A terrorist shouted 'open the door' with a strong North American accent, and opened fire. Two other Japanese died then and we found four other Japanese bodies" inside the compound, said Riad, who worked for the Japanese engineering firm JGC..

Iba El Haza, an Algerian driver at the BP gas plant, said that the gunmen were armed with AK-47s, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades and were interested only in keeping western hostages.

"The terrorists said: 'You have nothing to do with this, you are Algerians and Muslims. We won't keep you, we only want the foreigners'," said the man, who escaped during a rescue attempt by Algerian special forces on Thursday.

Another Algerian survivor told Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper how the gunmen seemed to know their way around the site and the names of the people responsible for certain areas, as well as where keys were kept.

"The terrorists went to the alarm station, switched off the alarms, and forced the deputy manager to show them where the expats were," he said. "They rounded up the expats, making them all wear explosives around their necks while standing in a circle."

The Algerian workers were held separately and "were treated with kindness", he said, and eventually they were allowed to leave.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

UAE SQUAD

Omar Abdulrahman (Al Hilal), Ali Khaseif, Ali Mabkhout, Salem Rashed, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Khalfan Mubarak, Zayed Al Ameri, Mohammed Al Attas (Al Jazira), Khalid Essa, Ahmed Barman, Ryan Yaslam, Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain), Habib Fardan, Tariq Ahmed, Mohammed Al Akbari (Al Nasr), Ali Saleh, Ali Salmin (Al Wasl), Adel Al Hosani, Ali Hassan Saleh, Majed Suroor (Sharjah), Ahmed Khalil, Walid Abbas, Majed Hassan, Ismail Al Hammadi (Shabab Al Ahli), Hassan Al Muharrami, Fahad Al Dhahani (Bani Yas), Mohammed Al Shaker (Ajman)

A Prayer Before Dawn

Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire

Starring: Joe Cole, Somluck Kamsing, Panya Yimmumphai

Three stars

The specs: 2018 Kia Picanto

Price: From Dh39,500

Engine: 1.2L inline four-cylinder

Transmission: Four-speed auto

Power: 86hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque: 122Nm @ 4,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 6.0L / 100km

MATCH INFO

Rugby World Cup (all times UAE)

Final: England v South Africa, Saturday, 1pm

Monster

Directed by: Anthony Mandler

Starring: Kelvin Harrison Jr., John David Washington 

3/5

 

Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Villains
Queens of the Stone Age
Matador

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

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Power: 118hp
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Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
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US PGA Championship in numbers

1 Joost Luiten produced a memorable hole in one at the par-three fourth in the first round.

2 To date, the only two players to win the PGA Championship after winning the week before are Rory McIlroy (2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational) and Tiger Woods (2007, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational). Hideki Matsuyama or Chris Stroud could have made it three.

3 Number of seasons without a major for McIlroy, who finished in a tie for 22nd.

4 Louis Oosthuizen has now finished second in all four of the game's major championships.

5 In the fifth hole of the final round, McIlroy holed his longest putt of the week - from 16ft 8in - for birdie.

6 For the sixth successive year, play was disrupted by bad weather with a delay of one hour and 43 minutes on Friday.

7 Seven under par (64) was the best round of the week, shot by Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari on Day 2.

8 Number of shots taken by Jason Day on the 18th hole in round three after a risky recovery shot backfired.

9 Jon Rahm's age in months the last time Phil Mickelson missed the cut in the US PGA, in 1995.

10 Jimmy Walker's opening round as defending champion was a 10-over-par 81.

11 The par-four 11th coincidentally ranked as the 11th hardest hole overall with a scoring average of 4.192.

12 Paul Casey was a combined 12 under par for his first round in this year's majors.

13 The average world ranking of the last 13 PGA winners before this week was 25. Kevin Kisner began the week ranked 25th.

14 The world ranking of Justin Thomas before his victory.

15 Of the top 15 players after 54 holes, only Oosthuizen had previously won a major.

16 The par-four 16th marks the start of Quail Hollow's so-called "Green Mile" of finishing holes, some of the toughest in golf.

17 The first round scoring average of the last 17 major champions was 67.2. Kisner and Thorbjorn Olesen shot 67 on day one at Quail Hollow.

18 For the first time in 18 majors, the eventual winner was over par after round one (Thomas shot 73).

Karwaan

Producer: Ronnie Screwvala

Director: Akarsh Khurana

Starring: Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar

Rating: 4/5

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

Day 3, Dubai Test: At a glance

Moment of the day Lahiru Gamage, the Sri Lanka pace bowler, has had to play a lot of cricket to earn a shot at the top level. The 29-year-old debutant first played a first-class game 11 years ago. His first Test wicket was one to savour, bowling Pakistan opener Shan Masood through the gate. It set the rot in motion for Pakistan’s batting.

Stat of the day – 73 Haris Sohail took 73 balls to hit a boundary. Which is a peculiar quirk, given the aggressive intent he showed from the off. Pakistan’s batsmen were implored to attack Rangana Herath after their implosion against his left-arm spin in Abu Dhabi. Haris did his best to oblige, smacking the second ball he faced for a huge straight six.

The verdict One year ago, when Pakistan played their first day-night Test at this ground, they held a 222-run lead over West Indies on first innings. The away side still pushed their hosts relatively close on the final night. With the opposite almost exactly the case this time around, Pakistan still have to hope they can salvage a win from somewhere.

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

MATA
Artist: M.I.A
Label: Island
Rating: 3.5/5

Concrete and Gold
Foo Fighters
RCA records

TWISTERS

Director:+Lee+Isaac+Chung

Starring:+Glen+Powell,+Daisy+Edgar-Jones,+Anthony+Ramos

Rating:+2.5/5

How green is the expo nursery?

Some 400,000 shrubs and 13,000 trees in the on-site nursery

An additional 450,000 shrubs and 4,000 trees to be delivered in the months leading up to the expo

Ghaf, date palm, acacia arabica, acacia tortilis, vitex or sage, techoma and the salvadora are just some heat tolerant native plants in the nursery

Approximately 340 species of shrubs and trees selected for diverse landscape

The nursery team works exclusively with organic fertilisers and pesticides

All shrubs and trees supplied by Dubai Municipality

Most sourced from farms, nurseries across the country

Plants and trees are re-potted when they arrive at nursery to give them room to grow

Some mature trees are in open areas or planted within the expo site

Green waste is recycled as compost

Treated sewage effluent supplied by Dubai Municipality is used to meet the majority of the nursery’s irrigation needs

Construction workforce peaked at 40,000 workers

About 65,000 people have signed up to volunteer

Main themes of expo is  ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and three subthemes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability.

Expo 2020 Dubai to open in October 2020 and run for six months