President Barack Obama said the hostage situation that ended Saturday in Algeria is another reminder of the threat posed by al Qaeda and other extremist groups in North Africa.
An attack by Algerian forces brought a bloody conclusion to a standoff with Islamist militants who had taken foreign hostages at a natural gas facility in Eastern Algeria. News reports say 23 hostages, including at least one American and 32 militants were killed. But reports of casualties and the number of hostages involved have varied. Some hostages reportedly escaped over the course of the four-day stand-off, The Hill reports.
President Obama issued a statement condemning the actions of the al-Qaeda-linked group that took the hostages. The group had issued a list of demands including calling for an end to the French military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali, which has involved some U.S. intelligence, logistics and other military support
"The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms," Obama said. "We have been in constant contact with Algerian officials and stand ready to provide whatever assistance they need in the aftermath of this attack."
Obama said the U.S. would continue to work with its foreign partners to "combat the scourge of terrorism in the region, which has claimed too many innocent lives."
Via The Hill