The State Department condemned the “terrorist attack” that took place Wednesday morning in eastern Algeria that resulted in 41 hostages being taken captive.
“We condemn in strongest terms the terrorist attack on British Petroleum personnel and facilities at the In Amenas Algeria earlier today,” spokesperson Victoria Nuland said during the Wednesday State Department press briefing.
Nuland also confirmed that Americans are among those being held hostage, but stopped short of providing many details citing safety concerns.
“The best information that we have at this time is that U.S. citizens are among the hostages. I hope you will understand that in order to protect their safety I’m not going to get into numbers, I’m not going to get into names, I’m not going to get into any further details as we continue to work on this issue with the Algerian authorities and also with their employers,” she said.
Earlier reports claim that seven Americans are being held hostage.
Nuland would not speculate on the motives behind the attack, but many observers have said it was in response to the ongoing military operations in Mali and Algeria’s recent agreement to open its airspace to French aircraft.