“The U.S. vowed to pursue militants who took hundreds of people hostage at a remote gas plant in Algeria.
At least 22 foreign hostages remained unaccounted for on Friday with varying reports on the number of hostages killed in the rescue attempt.
Reuters quoted an Algerian security source as saying the siege was over but the British government said it had no word from Algeria that that was the case.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the situation was stil “ongoing” in a speech to the parliament.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who was in London said the U.S. government was working around the clock to ensure the safe return of its citizens caught up in the Algeria crisis. A U.S. plane landed on Friday at an airport near the desert gas plant to evacuate Americans caught in the crisis.
“Regardless of the motivation of the hostage takers, there is no justification, no justification for the kidnapping and murder of innocent people,” Panetta said.
U.S. officials had no clear information on the fate of Americans, though a U.S. military drone had flown over the gas complex where hostage crisis unfolded.
The Al-Qaeda-linked group that carried out the attack vowed more operations, according to Mauritania’s ANI news agency.
Earlier, an Algerian security source told Reuters that 30 people, including several Westerners, were killed in the assault along with at least 11 of their Islamist captors.
Western leaders whose citizens were being held did little to disguise their irritation at being kept in the dark by Algeria before the raid – and over its bloody outcome. French, British and Japanese staff were among the dead, the source said….”Comments »