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Japan summons Algerian ambassador over rescue

January 18, 2013
TOKYO: Japan’s foreign ministry summoned the Algerian ambassador today, demanding answers over the rescue operation in the north African desert in which dozens of hostages are feared dead.

An official at the foreign ministry confirmed media reports that Sid Ali Ketrandji had been called in to see the foreign minister’s deputy. “The meeting was over the incident,” he said, without elaborating.

The news came as it was announced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was to cut short his visit to Indonesia and fly home, as unease grows over the fate of at least 14 Japanese caught up in the Algerian hostage crisis.

Japan has been on tenterhooks since news first emerged that some of its nationals had been kidnapped by Islamist gunmen who overran a gas plant in the north African desert.

“(Abe) will cancel part of his plans in Indonesia, including his policy speech and a dinner hosted by President (Susilo Bambang) Yudhoyono,” said a foreign ministry official.



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