In Amenas gas facility
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Algeria gas workers taken hostage

16 January 2013 Last updated at 22:17 GMT

At least 20 foreigners - including US, French, British, Norwegian and Japanese citizens - are being held hostage by Islamist militants at a gas facility in Algeria.

The facility near In Amenas, part-owned by BP, was attacked by a heavily-armed "terrorist group", and a man claiming to be a spokesman for the militants told BBC Arabic that al-Qaeda was responsible.

The attack has been linked to Algeria's support of the French military intervention against al-Qaeda-linked rebels in neighbouring Mali.

Frank Gardner reports.