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Algeria: 20 hostages escape, including Americans

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - An Algerian security official says at least 20 foreigners have escaped from the natural gas plant deep in the Sahara desert where Islamist militants are holding dozens of hostages.

The official said those escaping included Americans and Europeans. He did not give any further details.

Militants attacked the Ain Amenas gas complex 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) south of Algiers on Wednesday, taking dozens of foreign workers hostage. Those being held included Japanese, Britons, French, Americans, Malaysians and Norwegians, among others.

The gas plant has been surrounded by the Algerian army and there's now a tense standoff with the militants.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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