News Summary: A raid in Algeria

Algerian forces try to retake gas complex; militants claim 35 hostage deaths

Associated Press

DEADLY TOLL: After a raid by Algerian forces to free energy workers held at a natural gas facility in the desert, Islamic militants holding them say that 35 hostages were killed in strafing runs by army helicopters, along with 15 militants.

HELP REFUSED: The U.S. offered military assistance Wednesday to help rescue the hostages, but the Algerian government refused, a U.S. official said in Washington. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the offer.

CHAOS: Information about the 41 foreign hostages the militants claimed to hold — including seven Americans — was scarce and conflicting. All were reportedly workers at the remote plant. Algerian forces surround the complex and have vowed not to negotiate with the kidnappers, who reportedly were seeking safe passage.

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