Obama Wants Answers On Algeria Mission

10:31 AM, Jan 20, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON -- As he is sworn in Sunday for a second term, President Obama and aides will try to gather more information of the Algerian hostage rescue mission that left a still-to-be-determined number of dead.

"In the coming days, we will remain in close touch with the Government of Algeria to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so that we can work together to prevent tragedies like this in the future," Obama said in a brief statement issue Saturday evening.

The president also said: "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."

From USA TODAY's coverage:

"Fourteen of BP's 18 employees at the In Amenas plant were safe after Algerian special forces stormed a natural gas complex in a final assault Saturday that ended a four-day-old hostage crisis, BP said.

"The fate of the four missing BP employees appears bleak, BP CEO Bob Dudley told reporters. ...

"Seven hostages are believed to have been killed by terrorists during Saturday's assault, bringing the death toll to at least 55 -- 23 hostages and 32 Islamist militants, according to Algerian news media.

"A total of 685 Algerian and 107 foreigner workers were freed over the course of the standoff, which began on Wednesday, according to an Interior Ministry statement."

Obama's full statement:

"Today, the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the families of all those who were killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Algeria.

"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.

"We have been in constant contact with Algerian officials and stand ready to provide whatever assistance they need in the aftermath of this attack.

"We also will continue to work closely with all of our partners to combat the scourge of terrorism in the region, which has claimed too many innocent lives.

"This attack is another reminder of the threat posed by al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups in North Africa.

"In the coming days, we will remain in close touch with the Government of Algeria to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so that we can work together to prevent tragedies like this in the future."

 

USA Today

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