January 18th, 2013
05:35 PM ET

Report: 12 hostages killed in Algeria rescue operation

  • A hostage situation at a gas plant deep in the Algerian desert enters its third day.
  • Confusion surrounds the fate of potentially dozens of foreign hostages held by Islamist militants.
  • It remains unclear how many hostages have been killed or injured, and how many are still held.
  • Below are the latest updates as we get them. Also, you can read our full story.

[Updated at 5:33 p.m. ET] Algerian forces are looking to negotiate the release of remaining foreign captives, Algerian state media reports, but are holding out the threat of further action.

"The special forces of the (Algerian army) are still seeking a peaceful settlement before neutralizing the terrorist group currently entrenched in the refinery, and free a group of hostages who are still detained," according to a report by Algerian state news agency APS.

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] One Frenchman was killed and three others were saved in an operation to free hostages in Algeria, the press office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris says.

[Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET] Twelve hostages have been killed since Algerian Special Forces launched a ground operation on Thursday to free captives held by militants at a gas field complex, APS, the official Algerian news agency, reported, citing a security source.

[Updated at 1:19 p.m. ET] A U.S. State Department spokeswoman says the U.S. will not negotiate a prisoner exchange with terrorists holding captives in Algeria. It was unclear how many, if any, Americans were being held hostage.

[Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET] A total of 650 hostages have been freed by Algerian Special Forces from the In Amenas gas complex in eastern Algeria, according to the state-run Algerian Press Service news agency. Of the 132 foreign workers taken, 100 were released. CNN has not independently confirmed the report.

[Updated at 10:41 a.m. ET] A senior Obama administration official tells this to CNN in regard to the hostage situation at Algeria's In Amenas gas complex:

"This situation is ongoing and sensitive and our top priority at this point is the security of the hostages. For those reasons, you should not expect real-time updates on the situation on the ground."

[Updated at 10:07 a.m. ET]Video from Algerian state TV shows an interview with one wounded hostage rescued from militants at the In Amenas gas complex. Lying on a stretcher, the wounded man tells a reporter, "I don't remember it happened. It happened so fast."

[Updated at 9:55 a.m. ET] Algerian state TV is showing the first video of Algerian workers freed from the In Amenas gas complex. The workers were shown exchanging hugs and waiting to board buses.

[Updated at 8:43 a.m. ET] Out of the 650 hostages freed from the Algerian gas complex, 573 were Algerians, according to APS, the Algerian state news agency.

The agency reports that "over half" of the 132 foreign workers who were held in the hostage crisis have been freed.

CNN has not independently confirmed the APS reports.

[Updated at 8:37 a.m. ET] A total of 650 hostages were freed by Algerian Special Forces from the In Amenas gas complex in eastern Algeria, after terrorists attacked the facility on Wednesday, according to APS, the Algerian state news agency.

[Updated at 7:34 a.m. ET] The U.S. is in the process of evacuating Americans and other individuals who were involved in the hostage incident at a gas plant in Algeria, a U.S. defense official tells CNN's Barbara Starr. The evacuees are being taken to U.S. facilities in Europe, the source said. About 10 to 20 evacuees were expected to be on the flight, according to the source.

[Updated 7:01 a.m. ET] Some hostages held in Algeria disguised themselves to escape, the head of a catering company which had 150 employees captured, told CNN on Friday.

Regis Arnoux, the chief executive of CIS catering, said the kidnappers separated foreigners from locals and tied the foreigners together at the beginning of the siege, then divided the group when they realized Algerian forces had surrounded the site.

[Updated 6:57 a.m. ET] The United States is working around the clock to ensure the safe return of our citizens, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in London on Friday morning as the Algerian hostage crisis remained fluid.

"Terrorists should be on notice that they will find no refuge, not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere," he said in a speech.

Seven Americans were reportedly among those taken hostage.

[Updated 6:46 a.m. ET] A "small number of BP employees" are still unaccounted for at the In Amenas gas installation in Algeria, the company said Friday. Three flights have left Algeria to bring workers home, and a fourth is expected today, the company said.

[Posted 6:41 a.m. ET] The terrorists who attacked a gas installation in Algeria on Wednesday were heavily armed and well coordinated, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday. The site is large and complex and the Algerians are still pursuing terrorists and possibly hostages, Cameron told the House of Commons. The number of British people unaccounted for at the scene is significantly less than 30, he said, refusing to give an exact number due to the complexity of the situation. Britain was not informed in advance of Algeria's military operation Thursday, he said.

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Marine

    Too late again obama...always a day late and a dollar short....

    January 18, 2013 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Soldier

      You guys always were meatheads

      January 18, 2013 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      How come were not seeing Obama's face in the media on this one? He does a new conf for Trayvon Martin and has his nose in all sorts of local and state issues but not something like this?

      January 18, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      And you would have had him do what exactly? I didn't see Britain rushing to free their hostages. The typical right-wing solution is shoot first, ask questions later. That got us into 2 wars we can't seem to get out of already.

      January 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael J. Strickland

      Too late for what Marine?
      To lie about it like you do?
      What do you want us to think you know?

      January 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • schaz

      "America wants Pedicaris alive, or Raisuli dead! "

      Oops, wrong movie.

      January 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Marine

    The obama admin TELLS CNN what to say ....

    January 18, 2013 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • George Marshall

      You are one ignorant Marine. Obama "tells" CNN what to say? To a conspiracy theorist absence of evidence of a conspiracy is taken as further evidence of a conspiracy.

      January 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wyominguys

    Does ANYONE actually believe that the Obama administration really cares???? After all the election is over !!!!

    January 18, 2013 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. American

    obama is too busy on the phone with Jay z and beyonce making vacation and party plans.....benghazi 2.0...

    January 18, 2013 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. the prophet

    it will be destruction from within

    January 18, 2013 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. the prophet

    It takes balls to take down a bull, gossiping about how bad stuff is will not going to affect dung

    January 18, 2013 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. the prophet

    have a nice day all of you i got better things to do

    January 18, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. GOP = Greed Over People (party)

    Lol@ tea baggers aka the new kkk

    January 18, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamal

      Almost lunch. Time for chicken and malt liquor.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Whatamellon time.

    January 18, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Laquane

    Many hungry and starving people in Africa. It is sad time. Hostages could have been cooked too feed many hungry children.

    January 18, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. empresstrudy

    I hope they were evacuated to Mali where it's safe and the heroic French army is saving the world from America/terrorism/the Jews/George Bush

    January 18, 2013 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Michael

    So typical of our Government in the U.S. Other countries are doing and we are thinking and evaluating...Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    January 18, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      So you'd just have us go in and bomb them, like is the solution John McCain & Lindsey Graham have for everything? Shoot first, ask questions later?

      January 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Dayum, judging by these posts here, I could swear I accidently logged into a Faux News blog site.

    January 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. saywhat

    France's invasion of Mali has triggered these incidents and initiated more terrorism. What were they thinking?
    France stands isolated in Europe. The consensus among agencies in US is that Mali is no threat. ( which is a no brainer).
    Yet the Party of war is pushing Pr.Obama towards another disaster of military involvement.

    January 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    @Patrick
    The likes of McCain & Graham have been and will remain a part of the problem. Time Americans wake up & start thinking.

    January 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
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