The death toll has climbed again in the Algerian hostage crisis as at least 25 bodies were discovered at the Algerian gas plant.
An official noted the new bodies, saying that the death toll in the crisis has now reached at least 81. The bodies were discovered as the country’s forces searched the massive gas plant complex in search of explosives and missing hostages.
The crisis finally ended on Saturday when Algerian forces launched a final assault on the complex. USA Today reports that some of the bodies discovered since the crisis ended are so badly burned that they cannot be identified immediately.
After the assault, the Algerian government reported that at least 32 Islamist militants and 23 hostages were dead. But on Sunday, when Algerian bomb squads were sent in to detonate or diffuse the remaining explosives, they discovered 25 more bodies.
The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated:
“These bodies are difficult to identify. They could be the bodies of foreign hostages of Algerians or terrorists.”
Yahoo! News notes that the American government has since warned that there may be additional kidnapping attempts in response to the war in Mali. France is currently participating in an intervention to take the country back from Islamist militants, who currently hold many of its northern cities.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also denounced the hostage crisis. He also stated:
“Now, of course, people will ask questions about the Algerian response to these events, but I would just say that the responsibility for these deaths lies squarely with the terrorists who launched a vicious and cowardly attack.”
Three Britons were killed in the attack, while another three are feared dead. A foreign resident of Britain was also killed. The terrorists focused mainly on foreign workers during the crisis at the Algerian gas plant, allowing hundreds of Algerian workers to either be released or escape.
Of the death toll, Algerian spokesman Mohamed Said stated on Sunday that it is expected to rise. Said added:
“I am very concerned that this preliminary death toll will be, unfortunately, revised upwards in the coming hours.”
Algerian special forces continue to work their way through the facility, looking for more victims and diffusing all of the explosives.