The Algerian government said yesterday that the death toll from the four-day siege at the Ain Amenas natural gas plant had risen to 38.
Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters in Algiers that 37 foreign hostages had been killed during the four-day crisis, with several executed with a bullet to the head.
Mr Sellal said at least one Canadian had been among the gang of kidnappers who also hailed from Egypt, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Tunisia.
The gunmen crossed the border from northern Mali before swooping on the desert installation, Mr Sellal added.
He said 29 of the militants had been killed and three arrested as the siege was brought to an end by an Algerian military assault on Saturday.
Mr Sellal noted that one Algerian hostage was also killed - bringing the total hostage death toll to 38 so far.
This seemed to conflict with earlier estimates that the death toll had reached 80, but governments are still attempting to piece together lists of the missing and the identity of many of 25 bodies discovered on Sunday was still to be established.
The Japanese government says that 10 Japanese workers at the plant remain unaccounted for, several British workers cannot be located and staff from several other countries have yet to be found.
The press conference was the Algerian government's first effort to provide a coherent narrative of events of the four-day standoff.
Mr Sellal said the heavily armed militants came from neighbouring Mali carrying a huge amount of explosives and mined the facility.
He tried to justify Thursday's military helicopter attack on vehicles filled with hostages and Islamists, saying that his forces feared the kidnappers were attempting to escape from the site.
The Algerian special forces assault on the refinery on Saturday that killed the last group of militants and hostages came after the kidnappers attempted to destroy the complex.
The militants had claimed that they had taken hostages in retaliation for French intervention against Islamists in Mali earlier this month.
However Mr Sellal insisted that the attack on the gas plant had been planned for more than two months.
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