Dozens Of Hostages Killed In Algeria

BP Plant In Algeria (AP)

It looks like the hostage situation in Algeria has gotten worse.

A Mauritanian news agency that has been in constant contact with kidnappers holding dozens of Western hostages in Algeria reported on Thursday that 34 of the captives had been killed in air strikes.

It was not immediately possible to confirm the report by the ANI news agency, which said 14 kidnappers had also been killed in air strikes by the Algerian armed forces, which had surrounded the remote desert gas pumping station where the kidnappers were holed up.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera television carried a similar report, citing its own sources.

ANI quoted a spokesman for the kidnappers as saying they would kill the rest of their captives if the army approached.

Governments around the world were holding emergency meetings to respond to one of the biggest international hostage crises in decades, which sharply raised the stakes in a week-old French campaign against al Qaeda-linked rebels in the Sahara.

An Algerian security source earlier said 25 foreign hostages had escaped the besieged compound, including two Japanese. (Read More)

No word yet on whether any of those who were reportedly killed are American.