He said more than 20 British workers – whom the terrorists called ‘kuffar’, meaning non-Muslims – were rounded up.

He added: ‘Us Algerians were rounded up separately and were treated with kindness. We were told that because we were Muslim we would not be killed, and it was only the Christians they were after.

‘The terrorists allowed the Algerians to send texts and make phone calls, but to stop the expats communicating, they forced an Algerian telecommunications man to cut network connections for mobile, internet and power. But a back-up system kicked in, which allowed some Brits to send text messages.