In AMENAS, Algeria, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Algerian army's final rescue operation in the gas field of Tiguentourine freed four foreign hostages on Saturday, a security source told Xinhua.
The freed hostages, including a Norwegian, a Camerounian and two Britons, all looked shocked but in sound health.
Algeria's rescue operation on Saturday saw nine militants and eight foreign hostages killed, according to the source. Earlier in the day, local APS news agency reported that 11 militants were killed Saturday, and that seven hostages were killed by kidnappers, without specifying their nationalities.
The rescue operation has ended Saturday, the source confirmed to Xinhua. Algerian troops then began to conduct a mine clearing operation in the gas field facility of Tiguentourine in In Amenas in Illizi province, as militants had put mines in the facility attempting to blow it up.
On Friday night, the militants burned part of the facilities, but the fire was later controlled by army troops and gas field workers.
Since Thursday, Algeria's Special Forces launched successive raids on the gas field compound to rescue the workers detained since Wednesday by an armed group linked to al-Qaida.
At least 573 Algerians and 100 foreign hostages were freed during the operation, according to preliminary figures.