It's Over: 7 Hostages Killed in Final Raid

Algeria storms gas plant to end siege
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2013 8:27 AM CST
Updated Jan 19, 2013 1:54 PM CST
Rescued hostages hug each other on Friday.   (AP Photo/Canal Algerie via Assiaciated Press TV)
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(Newser) – The Algerian hostage standoff appears to be over after four days, but the end came with more bloodshed: The government says kidnappers executed seven hostages during this morning's "final assault." That brings the death toll to at least 32 "terrorists" and 23 hostages, including one American, report AP and CNN. No details are out yet on nationalities of the latest victims. "In principle, it's over," a government official tells the New York Times. Only a "clean-up process" remains.

A Turkish official says two remaining American hostages were found "safe and sound." Algeria's state news agency reports that another 11 of the al-Qaeda-linked militants were killed in the raid, but it did not say whether any remained alive. As for that "clean-up process": The militants reportedly booby-trapped the entire gas refinery with explosives, and Algerian troops had begun the painstaking task of clearing them.

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