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'I was prepared to die' says Japanese Algeria hostage

Published on Jan 21, 2013 12:55 PM
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga bowing to the press before a press conference to explain the hostage crisis in Algeria, at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Monday. Twelve bodies being held at a morgue in Algeria's In Amenas hospital, where victims of a bloody hostage crisis were taken, are Japanese, a hospital source said on Sunday. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese hostage who narrowly survived the armed attack on an Algerian gas plant said he was sure he would die after seeing two colleagues shot dead in front of him, a report said on Monday.

The unnamed man told colleagues how Islamist gunmen had dragged him from his barricaded room, handcuffed him and executed two hostages standing nearby.

In a chilling account of his escape, published Monday in the Daily Yomiuri newspaper, the hostage told colleagues he had been aboard a bus when it was attacked by a group of heavily-armed Islamists in the Sahara desert early Wednesday.

Seven Japanese are known to have survived the three-day assault, which ended in a bloodbath on Saturday - all of them connected to Japanese plant builder JGC.

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