Middle East > Algeria

Algeria Hostage Situation Taking Place Within Struggle Among Al Qaeda Leadership

Control of the growing Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb disputed

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The hostage operation in an Algerian gas facility comes during a leadership struggle in the main al-Qaeda faction operating in North Africa, analysts say.

The hostage takers, who call themselves the "Signers in Blood," say they work for Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a founder of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and who has waged an Islamist war against the Algerian state and others for more than two decades.