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13 Norwegians held in Algeria attack

Oslo - Thirteen Norwegian employees of Norwegian energy firm Statoil are involved in a hostage situation in Algeria after Islamist militants attacked a gas plant partially operated by the firm, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

The 13 employees are believed to be held inside the natural gas facility, Stoltenberg told a news conference on Wednesday.

Director for international affairs in Norways state oil company Statoil, Lars Christian Bacher addresses a press conference in Stavanger, Norway Wednesday Jan 16 2013 regarding the attack on the oil plant in Algeria partly run by the company where 13 Norwegians are reportedly among the workers who have been taken hostage. A group called the Katibat Moulathamine, or the Masked Brigade, called a Mauritanian news outlet to say one of its subsidiaries had carried out the operation on the Ain Amenas gas field, taking 41 hostages from nine or 10 different nationalities. At right is leader of secretariet Bjoern Otto Sverdrup. (AP Photo/ Kent Skibstad / NTB scanpix). Credit: AP

“We've asked the Algerian authorities to put the life and health of the hostages above all,” Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told the same news conference. - Reuters

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