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Japan presses Algeria for answers as toll hits nine

Published on Jan 24, 2013 6:24 AM
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An Islamic militant (rear centre) in camouflage uniform, stands among Algerian employees who were forced to leave their houses with their belongings at the In Amenas natural gas complex in In Amenas, in this Jan 16, 2013 photograph secretly taken by a hostage and released by Kyodo on Jan 23, 2013. A senior Japanese official met Algeria's prime minister on Wednesday to press for an explanation of the gas plant siege, as Tokyo confirmed the deaths of two more nationals, taking its toll to nine. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

ALGIERS (AFP) - A senior Japanese official met Algeria's prime minister on Wednesday to press for an explanation of the gas plant siege, as Tokyo confirmed the deaths of two more nationals, taking its toll to nine.

Senior vice foreign minister Shunichi Suzuki arrived aboard a government jet that is to repatriate the bodies of those known to have been killed in the hostage crisis, along with the seven Japanese who survived.

Tokyo announced late on Wednesday that it knew for sure that nine Japanese were killed after Islamist gunmen overran the desert facility. One Japanese citizen remains unaccounted for.

"Unfortunately, we have been able to confirm two more deaths," said chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga. "The Japanese government expresses sincere condolences to the families and people concerned."

 
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