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Algeria: 5 missing foreigners maybe in the desert

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 22, 2013 at 7:59 a.m.

— An Algerian official says the search is on for the five foreigners unaccounted for from the terrorist attack on the remote natural gas site, who may be lost in the vast Sahara desert.

The official, a member of Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal’s office, said Tuesday that the missing foreigners may have tried to escape into the desert and gotten lost.

An al-Qaida-affiliated band of fighters attacked the natural gas complex Jan. 16, and 37 hostages, including an Algerian security guard, died in the four-day standoff.

Many foreigners escaped from the site during the attack and were found by the army wandering through the desert, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

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