Algeria says 37 foreign hostages dead
The siege turned bloody on Thursday when the Algerian army opened fire, saying fighters were trying to escape with their prisoners. Survivors said Algerian forces blasted several trucks in a convoy carrying both hostages and their captors.
Nearly 700 Algerian workers and more than 100 foreigners escaped, mainly on Thursday when the fighters were driven from the residential barracks. Some captors remained holed up in the industrial complex until Saturday when they were overrun.
The bloodshed has strained Algeria's relations with its Western allies, some of which have complained about being left in the dark while the decision to storm the compound was being taken. Nevertheless, Britain and France both defended the military action by Algeria, the strongest military power in the Sahara and an ally the West needs in combating the militants.
Among other foreigners confirmed dead by their home countries were three Britons, one American and two Romanians. The missing include five Norwegians, three Britons and a British resident. An Algerian security source said at least one Frenchman was also among the dead.
Irish hostage Stephen McFaul was reunited with his family in Belfast yesterday.