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Pictures | Mon Jan 21, 2013 | 2:50pm GMT

Algeria hostage crisis

<p>Smoke rises above following demining operations at the Tiguentourine Gas Plant, located about 50 km (30 miles) from the town of In Amenas January 20, 2013. Algeria said it expected heavy hostage casualties after its troops ended a desert siege, but Western governments warned against criticizing tactics used by their vital ally in the struggle with Islamists across the Sahara. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi </p>

Smoke rises above following demining operations at the Tiguentourine Gas Plant, located about 50 km (30 miles) from the town of In Amenas January 20, 2013. Algeria said it expected heavy hostage casualties after its troops ended a desert siege, but...more

Smoke rises above following demining operations at the Tiguentourine Gas Plant, located about 50 km (30 miles) from the town of In Amenas January 20, 2013. Algeria said it expected heavy hostage casualties after its troops ended a desert siege, but Western governments warned against criticizing tactics used by their vital ally in the struggle with Islamists across the Sahara. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

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<p>An Algerian military helicopter flies over Amenas city, south east of Algiers, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Louafi Larbi </p>

An Algerian military helicopter flies over Amenas city, south east of Algiers, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

An Algerian military helicopter flies over Amenas city, south east of Algiers, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

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<p>A truck passes by a road sign indicating the Tiguentourine gas plant, about 130 km from the Algerian and Libyan border, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Louafi Larbi  </p>

A truck passes by a road sign indicating the Tiguentourine gas plant, about 130 km from the Algerian and Libyan border, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

A truck passes by a road sign indicating the Tiguentourine gas plant, about 130 km from the Algerian and Libyan border, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

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<p>An Algerian soldier is seen at a checkpoint near the road, 10 km to the Tiguentourine gas plant, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Louafi Larbi </p>

An Algerian soldier is seen at a checkpoint near the road, 10 km to the Tiguentourine gas plant, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

An Algerian soldier is seen at a checkpoint near the road, 10 km to the Tiguentourine gas plant, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

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<p>An ambulance believed to be carrying a wounded hostage from a gas facility where Islamist militants were holding them arrives at a hospital in In Amenas January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina </p>

An ambulance believed to be carrying a wounded hostage from a gas facility where Islamist militants were holding them arrives at a hospital in In Amenas January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

An ambulance believed to be carrying a wounded hostage from a gas facility where Islamist militants were holding them arrives at a hospital in In Amenas January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

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<p>Algerian Gendarme escort a freed Norwegian hostage Oddvar Birkedal (R) at the police station in In Amenas January 19 , 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi </p>

Algerian Gendarme escort a freed Norwegian hostage Oddvar Birkedal (R) at the police station in In Amenas January 19 , 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

Algerian Gendarme escort a freed Norwegian hostage Oddvar Birkedal (R) at the police station in In Amenas January 19 , 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

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<p>Algerian Gendarmes escort a freed Norwegian hostage Oddvar Birkedal (C) at a police station in In Amenas January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Louafi larbi  </p>

Algerian Gendarmes escort a freed Norwegian hostage Oddvar Birkedal (C) at a police station in In Amenas January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi larbi

Algerian Gendarmes escort a freed Norwegian hostage Oddvar Birkedal (C) at a police station in In Amenas January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi larbi

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<p>An Algerian soldier is seen at the checkpoint near the road indicating 10 km to the Tiguentourine gas plant, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Louafi Larbi  </p>

An Algerian soldier is seen at the checkpoint near the road indicating 10 km to the Tiguentourine gas plant, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

An Algerian soldier is seen at the checkpoint near the road indicating 10 km to the Tiguentourine gas plant, where Islamist militants have been holding foreigners hostage, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

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<p>Rescue workers carry the coffin of one of the hostages killed during a hostage crisis in a gas plant at the hospital in In Amenas January 21, 2013.   REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina </p>

Rescue workers carry the coffin of one of the hostages killed during a hostage crisis in a gas plant at the hospital in In Amenas January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Rescue workers carry the coffin of one of the hostages killed during a hostage crisis in a gas plant at the hospital in In Amenas January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

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