Algerian authorities continue to battle Islamic insurgents at a BP facility near Ain Amenas, hours after beginning an assault that began with helicopter attacks and massive troop deployments, reports CNN.
Mohamed Said, the Algerian communications minister, reports that many hostages have been freed, but was not forthcoming with any details on those released or killed in the ongoing raid.
"Unfortunately the best information we have at this time indicates that US citizens are among the hostages, but we don't have at this point more details to provide to you," White House spokesman Jay Carney said. "We're certainly concerned about reports of loss of life, and are seeking clarity from the government of Algeria."
The British were not notified by Algerian officials that the attack on the plant was commencing. With reports of high causalties and unimaginable chaos, that may become a very sore diplomatic spot very soon. According to the Guardian, Algeria moved forward with the raid in direct opposition to a request by British PM David Cameron to not attack the plant until Western advisors could help coordinate the response.