30 Hostages Killed or Missing as Algeria Siege Continues

Officials Hope for 'Peaceful' Settlement After Bombing

by Jason Ditz, January 18, 2013

Algerian officials are now expressing hope that they can come to a “peaceful” settlement with attackers who took massive numbers of hostages at a gas field in the nation’s east, just one day after Algerian warplanes pounded the site killing large numbers of attackers and hostages both.

There have been multiple accounts disputing the number of hostages and their fates. Algerian officials say that 30 remain unaccounted for, potentially either killed or still held by militants.

Many of the accounts of the inside of the site are still coming from hostages who managed to escape, either surviving yesterday’s attack or somehow managing to avoid capture in the first place.

In addition to the fates of the hostages, there is huge speculation about how the attackers, estimated at around 70, managed to take over the entire plant despite constant patrols and heavy security. Algerian officials say they suspect that there was “inside help,” either from security guards or drivers who helped them access the base so quickly and easily.

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