35 Hostages Confirmed Killed, Including 5 Americans, After Algerian Helicopters Strafed BP Facility Taken by Islamic Militants

Algerian military forces attacked the Islamic militants who took a BP facility near Ain Amenas Wednesday, resulting in 35 hostage deaths, reports the Associated Press.

Most concerning is breaking news that Algerian military helicopters may have strafed the facility after the militants attempted to leave the complex with hostages. It remains a distinct possibility that many of those dead were killed by a heavy-handed or incompetent Algerian response.

In any case, the operation appears to have been a disaster. 7 hostages remain in the custody of the Islamic militants, while just 4 were rescued. According to the militants, just 3 Belgians, 2 Americans, a Briton and a Japanese citizen remain alive.

According to French news reports, some of the hostages were forced to wear explosives.