Algiers, Jan 20 (EFEF).- Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said Sunday that the crisis sparked when Muslim fundamentalist attackers took hundreds of hostages at a gas processing plant was resolved in a ?responsible and satisfactory? manner.
In remarks to reporters, Medelci emphasized the role played by the Algerian army in resolving the crisis ? which resulted in the killing of all the attackers along with at least 23 hostages ? and made particular mention of the special forces, who on Saturday assaulted the gas complex near the southeastern border with Libya, where last Wednesday a group of Salafist gunmen captured several hundred foreign and Algerian workers.
?The operation developed in a less dramatic way thanks to the experience of the army, which avoided unleashing a tragedy? of greater dimensions, the minister said, apparently referring to the fact that the terrorists had brought a large amount of explosives into the plant that supplies more than 10 percent of Algeria?s natural gas.
According to preliminary figures published by the Algerian Interior Ministry, the country?s special forces killed all 32 presumed terrorists, but not before they had killed 23 Algerian and foreign hostages. However, during the operation 792 hostages were said to have been rescued, 107 of them foreigners.
Meanwhile, the private Algerian television station Ennahar reported Sunday that another 25 unidentified bodies had been found in the gas plant, although that had not been officially confirmed.
?Algeria has experienced difficult days and mobilized all its energies to overcome this test,? said the head of the country?s diplomatic corps. EFE