Militants: Algerian helicopter attack kills 35 hostages

9:42 AM, Jan 17, 2013   |    comments
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ALGIERS, Algeria - Islamic militants have told a Mauritanian news outlet that that 35 hostages were killed but seven are still alive after Algerian military helicopters strafed a gas complex deep in the Sahara.

The spokesman for the Masked Brigade, which claimed responsibility for the attack Wednesday on the Algerian gas plant, said Thursday the survivors included three Belgians, two Americans, a Briton and a Japanese citizen. He also claimed that Abou El Baraa, the leader of the kidnappers, was also killed in the helicopter attack.

The information came from the Nouakchott Information Agency, which has often carried reports from al-Qaida-linked extremist groups.

The militant spokesman said the kidnappers were attacked by Algerian helicopters when they attempted to leave the complex.

The Algerian government would not immediately comment on the standoff and the Associated Press was not able to independently confirm the information.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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