Official: 25 more bodies found at Algerian plant

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An Algerian security official says bomb squads scouring a gas plant where radical Islamists took dozens of foreign workers hostage have found 25 more bodies.

The state of some of the bodies discovered Sunday, a day after a bloody raid ended a four-day siege at the plant in the Sahara desert, is making it difficult to tell whether the dead were hostages or the attackers, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Algerian authorities said on Saturday that 23 hostages and 32 captors were known to have died but that those figures were expected to rise.

Algeria's response to the hostage crisis at a natural gas complex in the Sahara desert is typical of its history in confronting terrorists, favoring military action over negotiation. 

At first the action caused an international outcry. 

Algerian military forces twice assaulted the two areas where the hostages were being held by Islamist extremists -- first on Thursday, then on Saturday. 

In the bloody finale, special forces stormed the complex, leaving at least 23 hostages dead and killing all 32 militants. 

Algeria's Interior Ministry says the action was taken "to avoid a bloody turn of events." It says the terrorists first tried to flee with the hostages and then blow up the gas facilities. 

The ministry says 685 Algerian and 107 foreigner workers were freed over the course of the four-day standoff. 

French President Francois Hollande is backing Algeria's tough tactics, saying they were "the most adapted response to the crisis." 

President Barack Obama says the attack "is another reminder of the threat posed by al-Qaida and other violent extremist groups in North Africa." He says the U.S. stands ready to provide whatever assistance is needed in the wake of the attack. 

The U.N. Security Council is condemning the terrorist attack and says all perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of such "reprehensible acts" must be brought to justice.

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