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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

World

Canadians among Algeria hostage takers, death toll 80
Reuters
Algiers, January 22, 2013
First Published: 00:49 IST(22/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:05 IST(22/1/2013)

Algerian special forces have found the bodies of two Canadian Islamist fighters after a bloody siege at a desert gas plant, a security source said on Monday, as the death toll reached at least 80 after troops stormed the complex to end the hostage crisis.

Algerian PM Abdelmalek Sellal may give details later in the day about the siege near In Amenas, which left American, British, French, Japanese, Norwegian, Filipino and Romanian workers dead or missing.

The Algerian security said documents found on the bodies of the two militants had identified them as Canadians.

Veteran Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of al-Qaida, and an official Algerian source has said the militants included people from outside the African continent.

A security source said Algerian troops had found the bodies of 25 hostages, raising the number of hostages killed to 48 and the total number of deaths to at least 80.

One-eyed jihadist

Belmokhtar — a one-eyed jihadist who fought in Afghanistan and Algeria's civil war of the 1990s when the secular government fought Islamists - tied the desert attack to France’s intervention across the Sahara against Islamist rebels in Mali.

“We in al-Qaida announce this blessed operation,” he said in a video, according to Sahara Media, a regional website.


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