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Amateur video shows aftermath of convoy attack in Algeria

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Burnt debris from vehicles littered a road on Thursday following a government attack on a convoy believed to be carrying Islamists militants who had raided an Algerian gas plant and took a large number of hostages, including foreign workers. Amateur video obtained by Reuters appeared to show men surrounding burnt vehicles after they were bombed. There were also several bodies at the scene, at least some of whom were believed to be hostages. The video was believed to be shot by a hostage who escaped from the gas complex and later came across the vehicles and bodies. Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of the video. Another hostage who escaped unharmed from Islamist militants in Algeria on Thursday said the Algerian army bombed four jeeps carrying fellow captives and probably killed many of them, his brother told Reuters. Irishman Stephen McFaul, who was among dozens of Western and local captives seized by militants at an Algerian natural gas plant on Wednesday , told his family that he survived because he was on the only one of five jeeps not hit by Algerian bombs, according to his brother Brian. On Saturday the Algerian army carried out a dramatic final assault to end the siege by Islamist militants. Twenty-three hostages were killed, many of them believed to be foreigners, the Algerian interior ministry said. Thirty-two al Qaeda-linked militants were killed in the army operation to recapture the complex, according to a provisional toll from the ministry. A statement said 107 foreign hostages and 685 Algerian hostages had survived. Militants seized the remote compound in the Sahara desert before dawn on Wednesday, taking a large number of hostages, including foreigner workers, and booby-trapped the compound with explosives. The crisis marked a serious escalation of unrest in northwestern Africa, where French forces have been in Mali since last week fighting an Islamist takeover of Timbuktu and other towns.

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