HOSTAGES

Americans Seized in Algeria

BP/AP

In this undated image released Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013, by BP petroleum company, showing the Amenas natural gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria.

Forty-one hostages—including an unspecified number of Americans—were seized by militants at a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department confirmed. Specific details concering the Americans in custody have yet to be released, a move the State Department deems necessary to “protect their safety.” Described by the State Department as a terrorist attack, the incident allegedly took place at a gas operation in In Aménas, a joint-venture operation that includes BP. Citing two Mauritania-based news agencies, Reuters places the blame on Islamic militants, most likely retaliating against France for its intervention in Mali.