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Algeria: 5 missing foreigners maybe in the desert

Algerian firemen carry coffcontaining perskilled during gas facility hostage situatimorgue AAmenas AlgeriMonday Jan. 21 2013. The Islamist militants who attacked

Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing a person killed during the gas facility hostage situation at the morgue in Ain Amenas, Algeria, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. The Islamist militants who attacked the natural gas plant included two Canadians and a team of explosives experts who had memorized the layout of the sprawling complex and were ready to blow the place sky-high, Algeria's prime minister said Monday. Algeria detailed a grim toll from the attack, saying at least 38 hostages and 29 militants died in four days of mayhem. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

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ALGIERS, Algeria — An Algerian official says the search is on for the five foreigners unaccounted for from the terrorist attack on the remote natural gas site, who may be lost in the vast Sahara desert.

The official, a member of Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal’s office, said Tuesday the missing foreigners may have tried to escape into the desert and got lost.

An al-Qaida-affiliated band of fighters attacked the vast natural gas complex on Jan. 16 and 37 hostages, including an Algerian security guard, died in the four day standoff.

Many foreigners escaped from the site during the attack and were found by the army wandering through the desert, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.



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