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Algeria army failed to consult foreign govts before January raid

Algerian Special Forces stormed gas plant in which dozens of foreigners were being held hostage without consulting latter's respective governments

AP , Sunday 3 Mar 2013
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Views: 1598

The Algerian army on Sunday said it had made the decision to storm a gas factory in which dozens of foreigners were being held hostage without consulting the hostages' respective governments.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants raided the desert complex in January, leading to a four-day confrontation punctuated by exploding cars, helicopter gunship attacks and a final assault by Algerian Special Forces.

When the dust settled, 37 hostages – including an Algerian security guard – lay dead.

Some have suggested that the Special Forces’ raid was reckless.

However, in the Sunday edition of its weekly magazine, 'El Djeich,' the Algerian army dismissed such criticisms.

In an editorial, the magazine asserted that the army had attacked "without any consultation or coordination, so that no one could interfere in the country's internal affairs."

It added that the assault had prevented a greater tragedy – namely, the destruction of the entire gas facility by the militants.

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