Algerian hostages: Eight Scots confirmed 'safe'

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Media captionSome freed British hostages told Algerian TV they were "relieved to be out"

The Scottish government has confirmed that eight Scots are "safe and secure" after the hostage crisis at a gas plant in Algeria.

It said it could not confirm names and final details on numbers of hostages with a Scottish connection as the situation was ongoing.

A statement said that there were some people with Scottish connections who were "unaccounted for".

State news agency APS reported that the siege ended in bloodshed.

It said Algerian troops killed 11 Islamist militants after they had killed seven hostages.

The hostages were summarily killed as the troops tried to free them, it said.

Foreign workers were among the hostages, but the nationalities of the dead are not known.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed the crisis was over and that lives had been lost.

The militants had been involved in a stand-off since Thursday after trying to occupy the remote site.

APS has previously said 12 Algerian and foreign workers have been killed since rescue efforts began.

On Friday, 573 Algerians and about 100 of 132 foreigners working at the plant were freed, Algerian officials said.

The militants themselves said before the raid that they had been holding seven hostages.

Earlier, a number of Scots have spoken of their relief at being freed from the gas plant.

One of the freed hostages Alan Wright from Portsoy, in Aberdeenshire, has returned to the UK.

Speaking to BBC Scotland earlier, he said: "I'm back in the UK with my wife and looking forward to seeing the rest of my family once I get home and also thinking of all my friends not yet safe."

Another man held hostage, Iain Strachan, 38, from Howwood in Renfrewshire, Scotland, said he was "very relieved to be out", adding: "Obviously we still don't really know what's happening back on site.

"So, as much as we're glad to be out, our thoughts are with colleagues who are still there at the moment."

He said the Algerian army's assistance had been "fantastic".

"I've never been so relieved as when they came and got us off site," he said. "We thank them very much for that."

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