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.
KABUL The Afghan government is looking warily at the conservative religious scholar who has assumed leadership of the Taliban, seeing in him a rigid proponent of hardline orthodoxy who is unlikely to favor peace talks, officials said.