MANILA -- The Philippine government has received reports that more than 20 Filipinos were among the foreign hostages seized by Islamist gunmen in Algeria, a foreign department spokesman said Friday.
Undersecretary Raul Hernandez said a Filipino hostage, along with a Japanese national, had escaped the area before Algerian forces launched a rescue operation, although he had suffered slight injuries.
"He is now on the way to Algiers for treatment," Hernandez said, declining to give details.
Officials were checking if any of the Filipinos were among the dead and wounded after the Algerian military launched a rescue operation that had reportedly left several hostages dead, he said.
The gunmen seized the gas plant in the Algerian desert on Wednesday, taking numerous foreigners hostage. Algerian forces launched an operation against the gunmen the next day that reportedly left several hostages dead.
Hernandez said that earlier a brother and a wife of two Filipino workers had separately called the department to say that their relatives and 19 other Filipino co-workers had been in the gas field at the time.
"The Algerians admitted that there were some deaths and injuries on the side of the hostages following the operation undertaken by the Algerian military forces but no details were released," he added.More >
Social Security and YOU
By DEOGRACIAS SANTOS
At Social Security, we invite you to explore our online library anytime to curl up for a good read with our electronic publications.
In our virtual library, you can learn more about Social Security, our programs, and what our programs mean to you and your family. Browse through our collection of publications at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Search our online catalog by typing a title or topic in the library’s search box, and sort your results by a publication’s date, number, or title. Many of our publications are available in up to 17 different languages.
Our library also gives you access to audio recordings of our publications.
While the fastest and most convenient way to get one of our publications is by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs, if you prefer a good, old-fashioned printed copy, you can call us at 410-965-2039 and ask us to mail you a copy.
Social Security has been serving the American public since 1935, the same year that paperback pioneer Penguin Books released its first title. The difference is that, now, the publications we provide are available in more than just paper form. Whether you prefer print, electronic, audio, or an alternative format, Social Security has a good read for you.
Don’t have a lot of time for reading? Don’t worry. Our publications are a much easier read than Tolstoy’s classic, War and Peace. We write in plain language so that the information is easy to understand.
When you’re going through a life-changing event and need our services, having access to information on every one of our benefit programs will help make your next chapter one for the books!
(Deogracias Santos is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for the Northern Area of California. Visit the Social Security website www.socialsecurity.gov for information, our suite of online services, and to create your mySocialSecurity account today.)