• Kyodo

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Kanagawa Prefectural Police said Thursday they have obtained a fresh arrest warrant for the mastermind of the 2013 hostage crisis in Algeria that left dozens dead, including 10 Japanese.

The prefectural force placed Mokhtar Belmokhtar on an international wanted list in June when the initial warrant was issued for the head of the Masked Brigade, an Islamic militant group.

The latest warrant, issued Wednesday, is linked to the death of one of the Japanese victims, Bunshiro Naito, who was working at the targeted gas complex in eastern Algeria on Jan. 16, 2013, along with employees of major Japanese plant maker JGC Corp.

The militant group allegedly seized Naito, 44, and shot him to death soon after launching an attack on the gas complex, according to the police.

The police are checking information on the fate of Belmokhtar amid conflicting reports concerning whether he is still alive.

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