Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has responded to French intervention in Mali by staging an attack on a BP gas facility in Algeria. Early reports indicate three people were killed and at least six foreign workers abducted.
The BBC reported AQIM militants have claimed responsibility for the attack on the BP gas facility in eastern Algeria and claim they have seized six foreigners. Confusion remains regarding the nationalities of those abducted, though Algerian employees were set free by the Islamists.
Albawaba reported two British security guards and a French policeman were killed in the attack, though this has not been confirmed. The British Foreign Office, which described the attack as a "terrorist incident" said it "was seeking clarification from oil companies working in the area as to whether they have personnel involved".
Albawaba also reported five Japanese nationals and one French national were taken hostage. According to the Telegraph an Irish national was amongst those abducted by armed gunmen.
The Algerian army has launched an operation to free the hostages which could have been seized in retaliation for the Algerian government allowing the French to go through its airspace to conduct attacks on Islamists in Mali.