Dozens held after Islamists attack Algerian gas field
Islamist militants attacked a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday, claiming to have kidnapped up to 41 foreigners including seven Americans in a dawn raid in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali, according to regional media reports.
The raiders were also reported to have killed three people, including a Briton and a French national.
An al Qaeda affiliated group said the raid had been carried out because of Algeria's decision to allow France to use its air space for attacks against Islamists in Mali, where French forces have been in action against al Qaeda-linked militants since last week.
The attack in southern Algeria also raised fears that the French action in Mali could prompt further Islamist revenge attacks on Western targets in Africa, where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) operates across borders in the Sahara desert, and in Europe.
AFP: Kidnappers demand release of 100 Islamists held in Algeria in exchange for hostages
Algeria MoI Dahou said on Nat TV: Algeria-n authorities "will not meet the demands of terrorists and refuse any negotiation
Shura Council agrees women will be amongst first four candidates on any given electoral list
The Shura Council approved in its Wednesday session an article in the elections law that stipulates that women must be included amongst the first four candidates on any given electoral list in the upcoming parliamentary elections expected in April, according to Ahram Arabic website.
The article stirred debate and disagreement within the legislative body as the Salafist El-Nour Party opposed it, considering it discriminatory. Others, however, argued for the law, considering it an instrument of positive discrimination that empowers women.