As it happened: Algeria hostage crisis

Key points

  • Algerian forces have ended a four-day hostage crisis at a gas facility in the Sahara desert.
  • The interior ministry says 23 hostages and 32 captors have been killed. The identity of the hostages has not been revealed.
  • Five British nationals and one UK resident are dead or unaccounted for. Five Norwegians are also missing.
  • UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says the hostage-takers "bear sole responsibility".
  • French President Francois Hollande defends the Algerian response as "the most suitable".
  • All times GMT.

Live text

Reporting:

  • Jastinder Khera 
  • Nina Lamparski 
  • Anna Browning 

STANDARD 1408

Reports from Algeria suggest the hostage crisis at a remote gas facility in the Algerian desert has reached a conclusion, with Algerian special forces killing 11 kidnappers. State news agency APS says the army launched a final assault on the complex and seven hostages were summarily killed by their captors as the troops tried to free them.

STANDARD 1408

The army is currently clearing mines laid by the hostage-takers at the site, state-run energy firm Sonatrach tells the Reuters news agency.

STANDARD 1410

The nationalities of the dead hostages are not yet known, the report by APS said.

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Our map shows where the gas facility is located in Algeria and explains how the crisis initially unfolded on Wednesday morning when two buses carrying gas workers to In Amenas airport were attacked.

STANDARD 1423

One Romanian national has been killed and another injured in the crisis, Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta has told the AFP news agency. The Romanian foreign ministry previously announced that three Romanians caught up in the crisis had been freed.

STANDARD 1425

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague gave an interview, shortly before news of the latest army raid emerged, in which he said the large majority of British nationals caught up in the situation were now "safe and accounted for" and there were fewer than 10 remaining "at risk". It has also been announced that the British ambassador, along with a small consular and political team, is to fly to In Amenas to provide consular support to all those Britons caught up in the crisis.

TWEET

Journalist David MacDougall in Norway

tweets: Waiting for an #Algeria hostage update from #Norway PM @jensstoltenberg. He will speak to media at 1540gmt in #Bergen.

STANDARD

Because of the facility's remote location, details of what has been happening during the four-day siege have been patchy and confused.

TWEET

Journalist √ėyvind Bye Skille in Oslo, Norway

tweets: Press meeting w/ Norwegian PM Stoltenberg 1540GMT cancelled http://nrk.no/direkte/ He is visiting families of #Statoil employees #algeria