2 more Japanese confirmed dead in Algeria crisis

Brings total to 9; 1 still missing


TOKYO — An official says two more Japanese citizens have been confirmed to have died during a hostage crisis last week in Algeria, bringing the total number to nine. One Japanese worker remains missing.

The victims worked for a Japanese engineering company, JGC Corp., at a natural gas plant in the Sahara desert. Seven other Japanese workers for the company survived the hostage taking.

Islamist militants seized the gas field and held scores of foreigners from a number of countries hostage for four days until Algerian special forces stormed the plant on Saturday. Algeria's prime minister has said that at least 37 hostages and 29 militants were killed.

Chief Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said today that officials found the bodies of the two Japanese among a group of unidentified victims.