Algeria puts official death toll at 38 in world’s deadliest hostage crisis
Washington, United States (4E) – Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal on Monday disclosed that 37 foreign nationals from eight different nationalities have been killed in the last week’s brutal attack on a remote gas plant in the country.
PM Sellal added that the attackers mercilessly killed people “with a bullet to the head” during the crisis.
The prime minister further said that the death toll in the world’s deadliest hostage crisis in a decade may rise amid missing reports of more foreigners.
According to the current death toll figure, 38 people have been killed during the siege, including 37 foreigners and an Algerian national.
In the four-day ordeal that began last Wednesday, around 32 militants held hostage hundreds of people working at the In Amenas gas complex in the Sahara in revenge against Algerian government’s support to French forces, which are helping eradicating Islamic militants from Mali.
Although Algerian government did not disclose the nationalities of the victims, the U.S. State Department on Monday confirmed the death of three American workers at crisis-hit Algerian gas field.
In a written statement, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed deepest condolences for the victims’ families and identified them as Victor Lynn Lovelady, Gordon Lee Rowan and Frederick Buttaccio. Without disclosing any details, she also noted that seven U.S. citizens survived from the crisis.
“As the President said, 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,” Nuland said, pledging that Washington will jointly work with Algeria to fight future terrorist threats.