Horror: 19 hostages dead in Algeria

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Perhaps the worst of all possible outcomes in the Mali hostage situation.  

from the AP:

Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert on Saturday in a “final assault” that ended a four-day-old hostage crisis, according to the state news agency and two foreign governments. At least 19 hostages and 29 Islamist militants have been killed.

The report, quoting a security source, didn’t say whether any hostages or militants remained alive, and it didn’t give the nationalities of the dead.

It said the army was forced to intervene after a fire broke out in the plant and said the militants killed the hostages. It wasn’t immediately possible to verify who killed the captives.

Seven hostages and 11 militants were killed in Saturday’s operation, adding to the previous tally of 12 captives and 18 kidnappers.

The Ain Amenas plant is jointly run by BP, Norway’s Statoil and Algeria’s state-owned oil company. The governments of Norway and Britain said they received confirmation the siege was over.

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Where was the US government during this crisis. We left the rescue attempt to Algerian special forces?  This situation leaves me both outraged and heartbroken.

UPDATE: NBC News is reporting that 23 hostages were killed.

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