Algeria: Day 4 of hostage standoff at Sahara plant

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Associated Press

Posted on January 19, 2013 at 5:01 AM

Updated Saturday, Jan 19 at 5:05 AM

AIN AMENAS, Algeria (AP) — There's still no clear picture today after Algerian security forces tried to end a four-day-old standoff with Islamist extremists from Mali holding foreign hostages at a remote gas plant.

The drama that has left at least 12 dead, including at least one American and horrified governments around the world.

Algerian authorities gave no clear sign of how many people are still alive or captive at the plant in southeast Algeria as of this morning.

The Algerian government says 12 hostages and 18 militants died in a military attack on a convoy of militants Thursday. The militants claim that 35 hostages were killed, according to a Mauritanian website.

The CEO of Norway's Statoil, which jointly operates the plant with BP and Algeria's state-owned oil company, says two more Norwegians escaped, leaving six unaccounted for.

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