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Escaped Britons fear for hostages
British workers who have escaped the hostage crisis in Algeria spoke of their fears for colleagues amid reports that around 30 foreign nationals are still caught up in the crisis.
Security sources told Algerian state news agency APS that nearly 100 overseas workers had been "released" and put the total originally seized by Islamist militants at 132.
At least 10 UK citizens are understood to remain "at risk" as local efforts continue to end the terrorist attack at a remote desert gas facility.
The Algerian government said on Thursday night that a significant number of foreigners had been freed in an operation led by its own special forces but an unspecified number had been killed. It remains unclear how many of those still in the complex are alive.
Footage of several British workers said to have escaped the siege has been shown on Algerian state television. One man said he was "very relieved", adding: "My thoughts are with colleagues that are still there at the moment."
"I feel safe at the moment but I won't feel 100% happy until I'm back in the UK," another man said. "My heart goes out to the guys that are still there and hopefully everyone comes home safe because, at the end of the day, it's only work."
Another man interviewed said: "I was very impressed with the Algerian army. It was a very exciting episode. I feel sorry for anybody who has been hurt but, other than that, I enjoyed it."
"The gendarmes did a fantastic job. They kept us all nice and safe and fought off the bad guys. I never really felt in any danger, to be honest," said another freed hostage.
Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would do "everything we can to hunt down" those behind the "brutal and savage" episode which is well into its third day. But he expressed frustration that he had not been pre-warned of the special forces assault, in which some foreign workers were killed.
It was reported that two UK workers were among the casualties, which would bring the British death toll to three after one was killed in Wednesday's initial raid by Islamist militants.