IN what could be the first spillover from France's intervention in Mali, Islamist militants attacked and occupied a natural gas complex partly operated by energy company BP in southern Algeria. Two foreigners were killed and dozens of others, including Americans, were taken hostage.
A militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Algeria's support of France's operation against al-Qa'ida-linked Malian rebels groups far to the southeast. It said it was holding 41 foreigners, including seven Americans.
Algerian forces have surrounded the complex and the state news agency reported a bit more than 20 people were being held, including Americans, Britons, Norwegians, French and Japanese, citing the local authorities.