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Coup d'Etat

A Pyrrhic victory?

A Pyrrhic victory?

Algerian forces claimed a decisive victory this weekend over al-Qaida-affiliated Islamist militants who took over a giant natural gas plant near the country's border with Mali last week and threatened to kill hostages and blow up the facility. But the resolution of the crisis may turn out to be the classic definition of a Pyrrhic victory — that is, one achieved at such high cost that another like it will likely lead to defeat. The Algerian government reacted swiftly and ruthlessly to the terrorists, eventually capturing or killing all the militants. But in the process, dozens of Algerian and foreign hostages — including at least three Americans — were also killed,...

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