Algeria hostage crisis death toll hits 80, could rise more

By REUTERS
January 21, 2013 03:08

 
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ALGIERS, Algeria - Algerian troops found 25 bodies of hostages at a bomb-littered gas plant deep in the Sahara desert on Sunday, a day after ending a four-day siege, a security source said, raising the death toll of militants and their captives to at least 80.

Around 30 foreigners - including American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian and Romanian citizens - are among those missing or confirmed dead after the siege, one of the worst international hostage crises in decades.

Algeria had given a preliminary death toll of 55 people killed - 23 hostages and 32 militants - on Saturday and said it would rise as more bodies were found.

The security source said that toll did not include the 25 bodies found on Sunday, which meant the total number of hostages killed - foreign and local - was at least 48. The search was not over, and more could yet be found, he said.

He also said six militants were captured alive, including two found hiding on Sunday. Troops were still searching for others. Earlier, the authorities had said all the fighters had been killed.

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