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Algeria hostage crisis ends in bloodbath

Published on Jan 20, 2013 5:50 AM

IN AMENAS, Algeria (AFP) - Algerian troops stormed a remote gas plant Saturday to end a hostage crisis that killed 23 foreigners and Algerians, seven of them executed by their Islamist captors in a final military assault.

Twenty-one hostages died during the siege that began when the Al-Qaeda-linked gunmen attacked the In Amenas facility deep in the Sahara desert at dawn on Wednesday, the interior ministry said.

Thirty-two kidnappers were also killed, and special forces were able to free "685 Algerian workers and 107 foreigners", it said.

Among the dead were an unknown number of foreigners - including from Britain, France, Romania and the United States - and many were still unaccounted for, including Japanese.

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