Canadian fighters in Algeria siege grew up together

The two Canadians who participated in an attack on a desert gas plant in Algeria in January grew up together in a middle-class neighboorhood in Ontario, media reported on Monday as they identified the pair for the first time.

The pair were named as Xristos Katsiroubas, from a Greek Orthodox family, and Ali Medlej, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

The two men, both younger than 24, grew up together in a middle-class neighborhood of London, Ontario.

Two of their schoolmates had also traveled with them to Algeria, but it is not known whether they were involved in the attack or were still alive, the report said.

Canadian police had confirmed on March 23 that at least two Canadian citizens were among the Al-Qaeda-linked fighters who stormed the In Amenas plant in eastern Algeria on January 16.

At least 38 hostages -- 37 foreigners and one Algerian -- and 29 militants were killed during the siege and rescue attempts by the Algerian army.