Algeria has confirmed that an "operation" is underway at a gas field where Islamist militants took hostages, Reuters reported Thursday. "The Algerian authorities have confirmed that there is an ongoing operation," a British Foreign Office spokesman told the news agency. There was no comment on casualties.
Reports have varied wildly on the number of casualties. Early reports said that the militants claimed as many as 35 kidnappers were killed when Algerian forces fired on the facility. Reuters reported that six hostages have been killed in the operation. According to the same report, citing state media, the Algerian army freed four foreign hostages.