The siege of Tigantourine
By Will Hartley
Around mid-morning on 19 January, Algerian security forces launched a final assault to free the remaining hostages being held by jihadists at the Tigantourine natural gas facility near the town of In Amenas in eastern Algeria. The assault brought to an end a three-day siege that had developed after the militants initially stormed the facility, taking hundreds of foreign and local workers hostage, on 16 January.
Following the assault, Algerian authorities announced that the last 11 jihadists at the facility had been killed, and that a total of 32 militants had been killed over the course of the siege. Although 16 hostages were rescued in the assault, seven others were killed, bringing the official number of hostages confirmed killed to 23. However, an unspecified number of workers remained unaccounted for, and authorities warned that the death toll would likely rise over the following days.
Such fears were confirmed on 20 January, when the bodies of a further 25 hostages were found during searches of the site, more than doubling the previous hostage death toll to 48. At a press conference on 21 January, Prime Minister Abdelmalik Sellal said that the 48 hostage fatalities included 11 Algerians and 37 foreigners from eight different countries, and added that a further five foreign workers remained missing. Seven Japanese, six Philippine nationals, three Britons, and three US nationals had been confirmed dead by their respective governments.232 of 3154 words
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