DEBKAfile January 20, 2013, 5:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
Still unable to establish the final number of hostage casualties, Algerian bomb squads scouring the gas plant where Islamist terrorists herded dozens of foreign workers found “numerous new bodies” Sunday. The soldiers were searching for bomb traps left by the attackers after the final Algerian military raid Saturday ended the four-day siege at the remote desert gas plant. An Algerian official said the bodies were “badly disfigured” and hard to identify either as Algerian or foreign hostages.
The hostage-takers are beleived to have summarily killed remaining hostages before themselves being killed in the final army raid. The Algerian interior ministry said provisionally that 685 Algerian workers and 107 out of 132 foreigners working at the plant had been freed. None of these figures are final. French President Francois Holland defended the Algerian military operation as “the most suitable” because there could be no negotiations.