Algerian security forces confirm 48 hostages dead

21 January 2013

The four-day crisis at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria is over, but questions remain and the death toll continues to rise.

Security forces report that 25 bodies of workers were found on Sunday, bringing the total hostage deaths to at least 48.

The Japanese government sent a delegation to visit the site.

At least two dozen foreign employees, including 10 Japanese staff, remain unaccounted for.

Islamist fighter Mokhtar Belmokhtar has claimed responsibility for the raid on behalf of al Qaeda.

32 militants were killed during the Algerian operation to liberate the site.

Hostages approached the Algerian forces cautiously.

British man Alan Wright has told Sky News that he was terrified when expat and local workers were split into two groups:

“And then you are thinking you have just made the biggest mistake of your life. Because we were separated, I thought there is only one way they are separating us and it is because they are going to be freed and we are going to go.”

“That was a horrible, horrible thing. You have escaped, but you have escaped into the hands of the terrorists, or so we thought,” he added.

Wright, an employee of British Petroleum, is one of hundreds of former hostages now safely home, but the fate of many others remains unknown.

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