Algiers: The four-day Algeria hostage crisis turned out to be bloodier than assumed with the death toll crossing past 80, with 25 hostages’ bodies having been recovered from the gas station, reports said Monday.
Earlier statements by Algerian ministry yesterday pegged the death toll from the hostage siege at 23 and said that all 32 militants involved in the crime were killed.
But as per a BBC report, at least 48 captives have been killed and five suspected Islamic attackers were under arrest.
More bodies were found as officials scoured the gas station for booby-traps and mines. Many bodies were so distorted in the explosion that it was unclear if they were that of the hostages or of hostage-takers.
The four day hostage episode ended on Saturday when Algerian Special forces raided the gas refinery in the middle of Sahara desert and thwarted the miliatnts’ plan to blow up the entire refinery.
The death toll is expected to rise further as more bodies could be found inside the ruined refinery.
The dead hostages were also known to include at least one American as well as Filipino and French workers. Nearly two dozen foreigners by some estimates were unaccounted for.
The entire hostage takeover has been claimed by a group called the Masked Brigade which has warned further attacks in Muslim countries if they back French military intervention in neighboring Mali.
"We stress to our Muslim brothers the necessity to stay away from all the Western companies and complexes for their own safety, and especially the French ones," the group said in a statement.
The US and the US has condemned the terrorists for the act while French defense minister termed it as an “act of war”.