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35 hostages killed at Algeria's military operation

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Algeria’s state news agency APS says the military operation to free hostages at a remote desert gas facility had ended. The country’s Communication Minister Mohamed Said said that the army had succeeded in neutralizing the gunmen.

Mohamed Said, Algerian Communication Minister, said, "The operation was successful in neutralizing a large number of terrorists and freeing a large number of hostages but unfortunately and we are sorry to say there were some deaths and injuries. We do not yet have a definitive figure."

Algerian state television says four foreigners, two Britons and two Filipinos, were killed in the operation. And a hospital report also says that 13 people were wounded, including seven foreigners. The Masked Brigade, which claimed responsibility for the attack on the Ain Amenas gas plant, had earlier said that at least 35 foreigners and 15 militants were killed.

The Islamist militants had attacked and occupied the complex in southern Algeria early on Wednesday, killing 2 people and holding foreigners hostage. The group said the attack was in revenge for Algeria’s support of France’s military operation against al-Qaida-linked Malian rebel groups far to the southeast.

January 18 2013, 10:18

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