French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday that Algeria’s response to the deadly hostage crisis at a desert gas plant was appropriate in the face of “coldly determined terrorists“.

“When there is a hostage-taking with so many people involved and such coldly determined terrorists, ready to kill their hostages — which they did — a country such as Algeria has had ... the most appropriate responses because there could be no negotiations,” Hollande told reporters in Tulle, south-central France.

The hostage-takers calling themselves “Signatories in Blood” killed the last seven of their foreign captives today before being gunned down at the remote gas plant, state media said, ending one of the bloodiest international hostage crises in years.

The final death tolls, of both foreign and Algerian hostages and the gunmen, were not yet known.

Hollande was in Tulle, his political fiefdom, to meet a delegation from an infantry regiment which is deploying troops to Mali, where a French-led offensive against Islamist insurgents sparked the hostage-taking in neighbouring Algeria.

(This article was published on January 20, 2013)
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