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January 18th, 2013
07:14 AM ET

Algerian hostage crisis enters 3rd day with 'ongoing activity' – Matthew Chance reports


(CNN) - Two days after Islamist militants abducted an undetermined number of hostages - including Westerners - at a gas plant in a remote section of Algeria, "ongoing activity at various locations" was continuing, a British official said Friday.

It was not clear whether that activity represented "mopping up and checking" or "something more active" being carried out by Algerian forces against the abductors, the official told CNN.

Algerian forces launched their operation upon noticing the hostages being moved toward "a neighboring country," where kidnappers could use them "as a means of blackmail with criminal intent," Algerian Communications Minister Mohamed Said told state television on Thursday.

The British official said there was a "significant" number of British victims and others were unaccounted for.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Matthew Chance reports on the latest efforts to end the hostage situation in Algeria.

READ MORE: Algerian hostage crisis enters 3rd day with 'ongoing activity'

Filed under: Algeria
January 17th, 2013
07:03 AM ET

Americans held hostage in Algeria, while reports claim some captives escape – Dan Rivers reports


Algiers, Algeria (CNN) - Islamist militants who seized Westerners at an Algerian gas plant are demanding a safe passage to nearby Libya, authorities said, as fallout from the French offensive in Mali reverberates globally.

The BP gas field is 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of the Libyan border and 1,300 kilometers from the Algerian capital, Algiers.

"The authorities do not negotiate, no negotiations," Algerian interior minister, Diho Weld Qabliyeh, said on state television after confirming the demands Wednesday night. "We have received their demands, but we didn't respond to them."

Media in the region reported that the attackers issued a news release demanding an end to "brutal aggression on our people in Mali" and cited "blatant intervention of the French crusader forces in Mali."

This morning on "Early Start," Dan Rivers reports on the latest in the hostage situation.

READ MORE: Militants demand safe passage to Libya after seizing Westerners in Algeria

Filed under: Algeria • Hostage