Algeria: 60 hostages dead, missing in standoff

Algeria: 60 hostages dead, missing in standoff; militants seek swap for Americans

Associated Press
60 hostages dead, missing in Algeria standoff
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This Oct. 8, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Amenas Gas Field in Algeria, which is jointly operated by BP and Norway's Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach. Algerian special forces launched a rescue operation Thursday at the plant in the Sahara Desert and freed foreign hostages held by al-Qaida-linked militants, but estimates for the number of dead varied wildly from four to dozens. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- Algeria's state news service says about 60 foreign hostages are unaccounted for in the standoff with Islamist militants now entering its third day.

The news service said more than half the 132 foreign hostages had been freed, but the report could not account for the rest. The report Friday also said special forces had resumed negotiations after an assault Thursday at the gas plant deep in the Sahara.

A Mauritanian news site that frequently receives messages from al-Qaida linked militants said the hostage-takers in Algeria had offered to trade two captive Americans for two jailed terror figures in the United States.

One of the two, Omar Abdel Rahman, masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

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