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Arab-Canadians among Algerian gas plant attackers: security

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Two Arab-Canadians holding “dual nationality were among the Islamist fighters killed in an attack on a desert gas plant in Algeria in mid-January, an Algerian Security force said on Monday.

“The RCMP confirms that Canadian human remains have been identified in Algeria,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Laurence Trottier told AFP, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

Al-Qaeda linked fighters took hundreds of hostages when they raided the In Amenas plant in Algeria on January 16. Thirty-eight hostages and 29 fighters were killed during a siege and rescue attempts by the Algerian army.

Canada had asked Algeria for proof to back up a claim by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal that another Canadian was also among the dead fighters.

RCMP officers flew to Algeria in January to investigate any ties between the hostage takers and Canada.

In the past, small numbers of Canadians or Canadian immigrants from North African and South Asian backgrounds have been linked to operations or factions connected to al Qaeda or its affiliates.

Canadians suspected of ties to North African Islamic militants historically have come from French-speaking Quebec, rather than from English-speaking Canadian provinces.