Over 80 Confirmed Slain in Algeria Hostage Siege

Algerian Officials Still Struggling to Identify the Slain

by Jason Ditz, January 20, 2013

The Algerian hostage siege is over, but the death toll continues to rise as Algerian forces search the facility finding more and more bodies, and now say the overall death toll has passed 80.

Exactly how many of the slain are hostages and how many were slain attackers is still difficult to say, with officials saying a lot of the bodies were badly disfigured and not identifiable.

The final Algerian military push to retake the gas field added at least some to the death toll, with reports that the militants executed at least seven hostages when it became clear the military was moving in.

Between the deaths from the final push and those killed in the Algerian air strikes, it is unclear how many of the slain hostages were killed as a direct result of the Algerian military’s handling of the situation.

In addition to trying to wrap up who was killed and how they died, the question of how the attack happened continues to be a major question, with the group claiming to have infiltrated the site as short-term contractors, and Algerian officials continuing to believe there was “inside” help.

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