Algeria Hostage Situation: Military Operation Mounted

Top U.S. officials say as many as 100 hostages may be held at the natural gas facility.
1:33 | 01/17/13

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Transcript for Algeria Hostage Situation: Military Operation Mounted
The situation in Algeria is fluid and complicated. But top US officials are clear on one thing. We strongly condemn. Oh wait that's taken place it's a serious matter when Americans and others -- taken hostage. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told ABC news their could be as many as 100 hostages. Including seven harried Americans at the natural gas facility partly owned by BP. Panetta told ABC the hostage takers have rocket propelled grenades and the situation is chaotic. And we're gonna do is continue to look at that situation. And determine what steps need to be taken. Here's what's known the siege began Wednesday morning an estimated twenty gunmen attacked a bus carrying a group of international workers. The buses escorted by two cars of security teams but during the strike at least one worker was killed. The terrorists move next to the compound where they remained hunkered down with American and other western hostages. Intelligence officials believe the attackers were needed by boat -- Elmo guitar a -- al-Qaeda leader in Africa who's also the head of an organized crime network. He's reportedly made millions in ransom money from kidnappings. Diamond smuggling drugs and cigarettes. BP said in a statement that the British and Algerian government say the Algerian Army is trying to take control of the compound. But the company has no confirmation of hostages being released. Or any casualties. Karen Travers ABC news Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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