It's the day after the Algerian hostage situation ended, and cleanup crews are still searching for anything that could help them piece together what exactly happened inside the gas facility that was occupied by Al Queda-linked terrorists for four days. What they're finding inside: more bodies.
On the state-run TV station APS, Algerian Minister of Communication Mohamed Said said the number of dead hostages or terrorists "may be revised upward," as the crews finish their search of the facility, a prophecy already fulfilled. The Associated Press reports "numerous" new bodies were found inside, though it's unclear whether they belong to hostages or terrorists. The bodies are "badly disfigured and difficult to identify," so the identification process is expected to be a drawn out one. When crews initially entered the facility on Saturday they discovered 15 bodies burned beyond recognition, though it's unclear if the new bodies found were burned, too. According to Reuters, Private Algerian television station Ennahar reported 25 bodies were discovered and are believed to belong to hostages executed during the raid. Worse, the station is believed to have good connections with security forces.
Once the death tolls are revised, the next step will be determining the number of foreigner hostages. killed in the conflict. Most countries are not aware how many of their citizens survived the attack. So far only one American has been confirmed dead, though there are a few who haven't been accounted for yet.
The extent of the international military response will also become clearer in the next few days. David Cameron warned in an important EU speech Sunday morning that the problem with terroists in North Africa might be a decades long fight. President Obama promised to "combat the scourge of terrorism in the region," in his statement, and now some are speculating how far they believe the President will go with a military response.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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