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Algeria and Mali

  • At least 11 militants killed at Algeria gas plant -source

    ALGIERS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - At least 11 Islamist militants including their leader were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces stormed a desert gas plant to rescue dozens of hostages, an Algerian security source said.

    He said two Algerians, including the group's leader Tahar Ben Cheneb, a prominent commander in the region, were among the dead, along with three Egyptians, two Tunisians, two Libyans, a Malian and a French citizen. It was not clear whether further bodies of militants might be found now the operation is over.

    He also said 30 hostages were killed, of whom the nationalities of 15 had been established. Of these, eight were Algerian and seven were foreigners, including two British, two Japanese and a French national.
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Advancing Iraq troops enter strategic town on edge of Tikrit

BAGHDAD - Iraqi government forces and Iran-backed militiamen entered a town on the southern outskirts of Saddam Hussein's home city Tikrit on Friday, pressing on with the biggest offensive yet against Islamic State militants that seized the north last year.