Algeria: 20 Hostages Escaped Al-Qaeda-Held Oil Field

According to security officials


Algeria's government searched desperately Thursday for a way to end the desert standoff with Islamic militants who have taken dozens of foreigners hostage at a natural gas complex, as the purported militants behind the attack accused Alergian forces of wounding some of the captives.

One Algerian security official told the Associated Press on Thursday that 20 foreigners had managed to escape, including some Americans and Europeans. Meanwhile, the hostage-takers reportedly told Mauritania's ANI news agency that the Algerian military had wounded two Japanese hostages with fire from helicopters.