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Five Britons killed or missing in Algeria hostage crisis
8:10pm Saturday 19th January 2013 in News
FOREIGN Secretary William Hague has tonight said five Britons and one UK resident have been killed as a result of the hostage crisis in Algeria.
This is in addition to the one British fatality which had already been confirmed, he said.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The whole country shares my sympathy and concern for those involved.
"It is our priority now to get people home as quickly as possible and to look after the survivors."
The hostage crisis at the remote In Amenas desert gas facility has now ended, it is believed.
"There is no justification for taking innocent life in this way," said Mr Cameron.
"Our determination is stronger than ever to work with allies right around the world to root out and defeat this terrorist scourge and those who encourage it."
Earlier, it was reported that seven hostages had been killed as Algerian special forces mounted a final assault on the Islamist militants holding out in the BP gas plant.
The Algerian state news agency, APS, reported that 11 terrorists died in the battle at the remote desert plant at In Almenas.
There were reports that 16 foreign hostage had been freed - including two Americans, two Germans and one Portuguese.
APS quoted a security source as saying that the hostages who died were killed by their captors. There was no immediate information on the nationalities involved.
The Foreign Office said the British Ambassador to Algiers, Martyn Roper, was expected to travel to the area later today.
In a joint press conference with US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the crisis was over and that lives had been lost.
Mr Hammond said the loss of life was "appalling and unacceptable and we must be clear that it is the terrorists who bear sole responsibility for it".
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