As the dust settles on last week's hostage situation at the In Amenas gas compound in the Saharan dessert, details are gradually emerging. Speculation has been rife and conflicting reports by the Algerian State News agency, APS, tended to be at odds with western media reports.
Today, Monday, the Algerian PM has reported that 38 hostages were killed during the siege. This figure includes one Algerian worker and the foreign workers who died were from eight different countries, reports the BBC.
Algerian PM Abdelmalek Sellal has spoken on State televiosn. He confirmed that 29 hostage takers were killed but that three were captured alive. He also confirmed that the Islamist militants that attacked the gas facility included 11 Tunisians and two Canadians.
The four-day siege involved two rescue attempts by the Algerian army. The facility was left booby trapped and the Algerian army is completing the operation to make the area safe. The hard line Islamist militants are believed to have crossed into Algeria from Mali. There have also been reports that they entered via Libya. The French militrary action in Mali, to push back militants, was the trigger for the attack.
Details of some of the dead hostages, and how they met their deaths, are being revealed. One UK man, whose brother Kenny, was shot dead, at the In Amenas plant told the media, 'Kenny was lined up with four hostages and the kidnappers executed them''
Three Britons are still officially missing, presumed dead. Three more Britons are known to have been killed. UK PM David Cameron told Parliament that the terrorist network responsible would be' found and dismantled.'
This crisis is a great concern for world leaders and threatens global peace. That is one certainty. Make no mistake it will prove a difficult problem to resolve.
Today in UK Parliament PM David Cameron insisted that British forces will not be deployed in North Africa. When challenged by veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner, Cameron was vague. Britain will be supporting the French efforts in Mali logistically and that mission is to be extended.
Currently Cameron may maintain that stand but, whether or not there are UK 'boots on the ground', the UK will be embroiled in North Africa. It already is. No 'boots on the ground' leaves the door open for unmanned but armed drones, spy networks, covert missions and more.
As the Afghanistan war draws to a conclusion the West has no stomach nor money for more conflict. UK army job cuts will in fact mean that Britain will be hard pushed to launch any war, however desperate the situation.
Tonight BBC news TV carried the images from such a short time ago, of a jubilant Nicolas Sarkozy for France and Cameron for the UK hailing the new regime of Libya.
The Arab Spring though morphed into a nightmare and, at least for now, we cannot awake from it. As the west considers interference in more countries have we learned no lessons?