Algerian troops ended a four-day standoff with Al Qaeda-linked terrorists Saturday in a bloody final assault that killed seven hostages and 11 extremists, Algerian state media said.

The raid in the North African nation followed a Thursday attack on the Islamist extremists, who stormed and then held a sprawling natural gas plant in the Sahara Desert while the world watched in horror.

The final attack was meant to prevent a fire started by the terrorists from engulfing the complex and blowing it to pieces, Algerian state media said.
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