Americans Taken Hostage in Algerian Attack

Seven believed to be among 41 taken at BP gas field

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 16, 2013 1:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Americans were among the foreigners taken hostage today in an attack on a BP natural gas field in Algeria, US officials have confirmed. An al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it retaliation for France's incursion into Mali, Reuters reports. The militants are still occupying the gas field, according to BP, and they say they have up to 41 hostages, including seven Americans. Two foreigners were also killed in the attack.

Hillary Clinton has called Algeria's prime minister to discuss the attack, and Leon Panetta publicly said that the US "will take all necessary and proper steps" to deal with the "terrorist attack," the AP reports. Algeria's interior minister today insisted that his government "will not respond to terrorist demands, and rejects all negotiations," according to CBS.

BP's Amenas natural gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages, is seen in this photo released Jan. 16, 2013.
BP's Amenas natural gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages, is seen in this photo released Jan. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/BP)
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