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Article updated: 1/18/2013 10:24 AM

Desert siege: 100 of 132 foreign hostages freed

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This 2005 file photo shows the Ain Amenas gas field in Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. British Prime Minister David Cameron said Algerian forces are "still pursuing terrorists" and looking for hostages at an oil installation in the Sahara desert. Cameron told lawmakers Friday Jan. 18, 2013 that Algerian troops were still engaged in an operation to secure a large and complex site.

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The bloody three-day hostage standoff at a Sahara natural gas plant took a dramatic turn Friday as Algeria's state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants had been freed. That number of hostages at the remote desert facility was significantly higher than any previous report, and still meant that the fate of over 30 foreign energy workers was unclear. Yet it could indicate a potential breakthrough in the confrontation that began when the militants seized the plant early Wednesday.
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