Durham man freed after Algerian hostage crisis

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A DAD-OF_FOUR from Durham is ‘safe and well’ after surviving the Algerian hostage crisis in the Sahara.

Peter Hunter, 53, from Durham City, was one of the hostages held by terrorists before Algerian special forces executed a final assault to ended the four-day crisis.

Mr Hunter had been working as a construction manager for JV Gas with British Petroleum in North Africa when Islamic militants struck last week.

The stand-off turned into a bloodbath when Algerian soldiers stormed the gas plant after reports the terrorists had begun executing their captives.

Three British nationals are known to have died and three more are feared dead after the shoot-out in the In Amenas complex.

Mr Hunter was among the hostages who managed to scramble to safety and last night he was safely back on British soil in London while his family wait for him to return to the North-East.

His Kerry Hunter, 42, told reporters: “The children are devastated by what has happened, but we are happy he is safe.

“He is in London and we just all want him home now.”

A total of 22 Britons who survived the crisis and are now back in the UK.

Algerian authorities said that 23 hostages and 32 captors were known to have died but that those figures were expected to rise.

Algerian officials said the extremists belonged to a new Islamist group formed by a veteran Algerian militant and kidnapper, Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

The crisis began on Wednesday when terrorists attacked two buses carrying foreign workers to the remote site in south-eastern Algeria.

The In Amenas gas field is situated at Tigantourine, about 25 miles south-west of the town of In Amenas and 800 miles south-east of Algiers