El Watan - quoting official sources - hostage takers had given up hope of escaping and started killing hostages then the assault launched
— peter beaumont (@petersbeaumont) January 19, 2013
A final assault by Algerian special forces on the group of jihadist hostage-takers who seized the In Amenas gas facility ended on Saturday with the deaths of the seven remaining foreign hostages. Also killed was the Niger terrorist believed to lead the al-Qaida splinter group's leader, Abdul Rahman al-Nigeri. Five Britons and one UK resident were believed to be among the 23 hostages killed during the standoffContinue reading.
Sixteen foreign nationals – including two Americans, two Germans and a Portuguese – were freed during Saturday's operation.
After a day of desperate uncertainty over the fate of the remaining British captives, David Cameron said the deaths would unite world leaders in the cause of defeating global terrorism. The prime minister added: "Our determination is stronger than ever to work with allies right around the world to root out and defeat this terrorist scourge and those who encourage it."
The White House released a statement from Barack Obama, in which the US president said: "The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the families of all those who were killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Algeria. The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms. We have been in constant contact with Algerian officials and stand ready to provide whatever assistance they need in the aftermath of this attack.
Announcing the latest casualties, foreign secretary William Hague said: "We believe that there are five British nationals and one British resident who are either deceased or unaccounted for, in addition to the one fatality that we had already confirmed."
He added: "We are working hard to get definitive information about each individual. We are in touch with all of the families concerned."