Mon January 21, 2013

Nightmare Details Emerge After Siege Ends In Algeria

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 8:01 am



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama took the oath for a second term yesterday, on January 20th, as the Constitution requires. The public ceremony takes place today at the Capitol, and we'll have live coverage all day long.

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Sun January 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Death Toll May Rise After More Bodies Found At Algerian Plant

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 11:15 am

More bodies have been reported found at the gas plant in Algeria where a four-day standoff with Islamist militants came to a bloody end on Saturday. An Algerian security official tells the AP that the state of the bodies makes it difficult to tell whether the dead are hostages or attackers.

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Sat January 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Hostages, Militants Reported Dead In Algerian Assault

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 4:51 pm

British Defense Minister Philip Hammond (left) and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hold a joint press conference on the Algerian hostage crisis Saturday in London.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

The four-day standoff in the Algerian desert came to a bloody end Saturday morning when Algerian forces stormed the gas plant where Islamist militants were holding foreign hostages.

Seven hostages were killed in the assault, as were 11 militants, Algeria's state media reported. In total, 32 militants and 23 other people died in the conflict, the Algerian interior ministry said in a statement.

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Fri January 18, 2013
The Two-Way

American Confirmed Dead In Algerian Hostage Crisis

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 6:56 pm

(We updated the top of this post at 8:55 ET.)

An American worker has been confirmed dead at the natural gas complex in eastern Algeria where Islamic extremists seized hostages, the U.S. State Department said Friday evening in a statement.

The State Department identified the man as Frederick Buttaccio, a Texas resident, but did not provide additional details on the circumstances.

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Thu January 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Did This Man Order The Hostage Takings In Algeria?

This image from video provided by the SITE Intel Group made available Thursday Jan. 17, 2013, purports to show militant militia leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar. News reports say he may have been responsible for the Western hostages' being taken at a gas plant in Algeria.
SITE Intel Group AP

Mokhtar Belmokhtar has had a few skirmishes in his day.

The former Algerian soldier went to Afghanistan to join Islamist fighters battling the Soviets in the 1980s. He returned home and rose to prominence among the Islamist rebels who waged a nasty war with the Algerian government in the 1990s.

For the past decade, he's remained an elusive figure. He's believed to have spent most of his time in Algeria's Sahara and has been regarded as one of the top figures in al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.

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