Rescue workers carry the coffin of one of the hostages killed during a hostage crisis in a gas plant at the hospital in In Amenas January 21, 2013. The hostage death toll from a four-day siege at an Algerian gas plant deep in the Sahara has risen to almost 60, with at least nine Japanese nationals also reported killed in an attack claimed by a veteran Islamist fighter on behalf of al Qaeda.

An attack by Islamist fighters at Algeria's In Amenas gas complex will not prompt foreign energy firms to abandon investment in the country, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi said on Monday.

“I don't think foreign workers are leaving Algeria definitively. They have left just to reassure their families,” Yousfi told reporters in parliament.

“I don't think foreign companies will leave definitively.”

He said the fighters had tried to blow up the gas plant.

“Sonatrach's executives halted production just after the start of the attack to avoid any impact of explosions. The terrorists tried to blow up the plant but in vain,” he said.

He said a decision on the start-up date of the plant could be made on Tuesday. - Reuters