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By Victor Trammell Algeria’s government claimed today that the death toll has risen in the hostage crisis at a natural gas plant in the eastern city of In Amenas. A government siege of the gas plant was carried out on Saturday. Algerian forces stormed the Sahara Desert complex in a final attempt to crush the efforts of the armed militia that kidnapped 132 foreigners last week. According to national U.S. news sources, some Americans were among the foreign hostages taken in the armed militia’s takeover of the natural gas plant. The siege of the natural gas plant was carried out by the Algerian Special Forces. Algeria’s Interior Ministry reported that after the operation, 25 dead foreigners were found in the plant. In addition to the dead foreign hostages, 32 militants were reported dead according to a report by the Algerian Interior Ministry. According to BBC, at least one American hostage was confirmed dead after the operation. President Obama offered to assist the Algerian government in dealing with the aftermath of the In Amenas tragedy. Some Western governments criticized the Algerian operation calling it ‘heavy-handed’ and they expressed concern about not receiving notice of the Algerian government operation ahead of time. However, France and Britian defended the Algerian operation and insisted that the nation is dealing with a growing threat from international terrorists who seek to destabilize Algeria’s warm relations with Western nations. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated: “What everyone needs to know is that these terrorists who attacked this gas plant are killers who pillage, rape, plunder and kill. The situation was unbearable. It’s easy to say that this or that should have been done. The Algerian authorities took a decision and the toll is very high but I am a bit bothered … when the impression is given that the Algerians are open to question. They had to deal with terrorists.” (Europe 1 Radio) In a television appearance, British Prime Minister David Cameron echoed the French Foreign Minister’s sentiments about the Algeria government’s operation to put down the Al-Qaida-linked militia. Cameron quoted: “Of course people will ask questions about the Algerian response to these events, but I would just say that the responsibility for these deaths lies squarely with the terrorists who launched this vicious and cowardly attack. We should recognise all that the Algerians have done to work with us and to help and coordinate with us. I’d like to thank them for that. We should also recognise that the Algerians too have seen lives lost among their soldiers.” (Reuters)

Death Toll Rises In Algerian Hostage Crisis: 25 Foreign Hostages Pronounced Dead

AlgeriaBy Victor Trammell

Algeria’s government claimed today that the death toll has risen in the hostage crisis at a natural gas plant in the eastern city of In Amenas.

A government siege of the gas plant was carried out on Saturday. Algerian forces stormed the Sahara Desert complex in a final attempt to crush the efforts of the armed militia that kidnapped 132 foreigners last week. According to national U.S. news sources, some Americans were among the foreign hostages taken in the armed militia’s takeover of the natural gas plant.

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