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Reports: Bloodbath in Algeria as Army Attacks Hostage-Takers

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Common Dreams staff

Troops surround gas facility where dozens of workers are held by fighters demanding an end to French operations in Mali. (Reuters)

Reports from Algeria Thursday morning paint a picture of a possible bloodbath after the military there attempted a raid on a group of hostage-takers who Monday seized company employees, including many westerners, at a remote gas plant.

Details of the events in Algeria were happening fast with international outlets reporting different facts from various sources. The Guardian is liveblogging updates here. And Twitter (see below) continues to track updates and provide links.

Al-Jazeera reports:

At least 35 hostages and 15 captors have been killed in a siege at a southern Algerian gas field.

The group was being transported from one part of the complex to another, when they came under attack from the Algerian army. The lead hostage-taker is also among the dead.

Reuters adds:

A Mauritanian news agency that has been in constant contact with kidnappers holding dozens of Western hostages in Algeria reported on Thursday that 34 of the captives had been killed in air strikes.

It was not immediately possible to confirm the report by the ANI news agency, which said 14 kidnappers had also been killed in air strikes by the Algerian armed forces, which had surrounded the remote desert gas pumping station where the kidnappers were holed up.

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