Algeria crisis: Hostage death toll hits 48

Monday, January 21, 2013
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Algiers: At least 48 hostages were killed during the four-day siege at a Algerian gas plant deep in the Sahara, country security sources said.

Abdelmalek Sellal, Algerian Prime Minister is expected to give detailed account at a Monday news conference one of the worst international hostage crises in decades, which left American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian workers dead or missing, international media reported.

Earlier, on Sunday security sources confirmed that Algerian troops had found the bodies of 25 hostages after the reports that 23 hostage were killed.

About 20 hostages remain unaccounted for as troops continue their search.

However, the Algerian government has claimed that 32 hostage-takers were killed.

Algerian officials initially declared that all the Islamic militants who seized the complex were killed but the government announced the arrest of five suspected militants and said three more were being sought.

As of now, one-eyed veteran Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of al-Qaida.
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