ALGIERS (Reuters) – The gas plant at In Amenas is giving up its secrets as Algerian special forces picking their way through the vast complex find dozens of bodies, some charred beyond recognition in the bloody end-game to one of the worst hostage crises in years.
Five days after 40 jihadist fighters raided the desert facility not far from the Libyan border and Algeria responded with a full-on military operation to kill or capture them, a picture of what happened is beginning to emerge.
While some of the hostages escaped in the early stages of the crisis, hopes faded for dozens of others, foreign workers and Algerians, once the army decided to take on the raiders.
Those who escaped had harrowing tales to tell. One Briton recounted how the attackers had strapped Semtex plastic explosive to his neck, bound his hands and taped his mouth shut. Another man hid for more than a day and a half under his bed as jihadist fighters searched the workers’ residential complex.
Algerian sources said the attackers had come from Libya, but two of the Islamist fighters whose bodies were recovered appeared to be Canadian.
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