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article imageMore bloodshed as 'final assault' at Algerian gas facility ends

By Greta McClain     Jan 20, 2013 in World
The international hostage crisis at the BP gas facility in Algeria appears to have come to a deadly conclusion, with Algerian officials finding additional bodies within the complex on Sunday.
The military rescue offensive began on Thursday when Algerian military helicopters began firing on jeeps carrying militants and hostages alike. At that time Digital Journal stated several reports estimated that 35 hostages had been killed. Throughout the day Thursday, conflicting reports continued to come in, with the Algerian government refusing to comment on the developing situation.
Officials in Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States were somewhat critical of the Algerian government for launching the offensive without consulting the governments of the foreign nationals being held. Digital Journal reported that Prime Minister David Cameron had offered British assistance with any rescue attempt and stressed that he wanted to be informed before any operation was launched. The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, protested the raid, saying it "threatened the lives of the hostages."
Special Forces with the Algerian military launched what they called a“final assault” on the Amenas gas facility on Saturday. After the offensive concluded, Algerian communications minister Mohamed Said claimed the death toll of foreign hostages stood at 23. He also stated that 107 foreign nationals had been freed.
On Sunday, Algerian bomb squad officials entered the complex and found an additional 25 bodies. An official with the Algerian government told USA Today:
"These bodies are difficult to identify. They could be the bodies of foreign hostages or Algerians or terrorists."
According to an All Africa report, Said told an Algerian radio station that he feared the death toll would continue to rise as more information becomes available.
Digital Journal will continue to update this story as more details continue to emerge.
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