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Algerian Special Forces end Hostage Crisis, killing everyone
Saturday, 19 January 2013

In a bloody finale, Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the Sahara desert on Saturday to end a standoff with Islamist extremists that left at least 19 hostages and 29 militants dead. Dozens of foreign workers remain unaccounted for, leading to fears the death toll could rise.

With few details emerging from the remote site in eastern Algeria, it was unclear whether anyone was rescued in the final operation.

The siege at Ain Amenas transfixed the world after radical Islamists linked to al-Qaida stormed the complex, which contained hundreds of plant workers from all over the world, and then held them hostage surrounded by the Algerian military and its attack helicopters for four tense days that were punctuated with gunbattles and dramatic tales of escape.

Algeria's response to the crisis was typical of the country's history in confronting terrorists, favoring military action over negotiation. Algerian military forces twice assaulted the two areas where the hostages were being held with minimal apparent mediation - first on Thursday and then on Saturday.

 


  

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