Algeria: Hostage 'Had Explosives Around Neck'

An Irishman who escaped from the Algerian hostage crisis had explosives tied around his neck, his brother has revealed.

Father-of-two Stephen McFaul, from west Belfast, fled after the vehicle he had been travelling in crashed after coming under attack from Algerian forces, Brian McFaul said.

The 36-year-old was able to run off and made it to safety. He later was able to contact members of his family.

Mr McFaul said: "He had explosives tied around his neck. He was being transported in a convoy of five vehicles when they came under attack. His vehicle crashed."

Stephen McFaul made contact with his wife Angela at around 3pm on Thursday to say he was safe and well.

His 13-year-old son Dylan declared he would give him a "big hug" as soon as he sees him.

The electrician supervisor, who also has a four-year-old son Jake, is being looked after by Algerian authorities while arrangements are made for his return.

His father, Christopher, told Sky News: "We feel sorry for the other hostages who are still there, we don't know what has happened to them, those who have been killed.

"The last 48 hours has been hell, that's all I can really say about it."

Donna McBride, Mr McFaul's sister, added: "I feel so sorry for the rest of the families who have lost loved ones and others who are missing."

Mr McFaul, who was last at home on Boxing Day, works as a supervising electrician at the gas field.

His wife said she expected him home on Friday.

Algeria is one of a number of African countries he has worked in during an extensive career in the industry.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness expressed relief at the release of Mr McFaul and hoped he can return to his family in the near future.

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