60 Hostages Still Held in Algeria - Report

January 18, 2013, Friday // 04:41

About 650 hostages have been freed from Islamist militants at a gas facility in Algeria, according to state media.

However, some 60 hostages are reportedly still being held.

State-run APS news agency has said that those freed at the In Amenas installation included 573 Algerians and more than half of 132 foreign workers, BBC informs.

The militants allegedly remained holed up at the site and the Algerian army wanted a "peaceful end" to the crisis.

The hostage-takers have demanded the release of Islamists from Algerian prisons and an end to French military action in Mali.

The kidnappers are believed to have been operating under orders from Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a  former senior commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who now heads the Khaled Abu al-Abbas Brigade and the Signed-in-Blood Battalion.

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