This Oct. 8, 2012 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the Amenas Gas Field in Algeria, which is jointly operated by BP and Norway's Statoil and Algeria's Sonatrach. Algerian special forces launched a rescue operation Thursday at the plant in the Sahara Desert and freed foreign hostages held by al-Qaida-linked militants, but estimates for the number of dead varied wildly from four to dozens. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)

Rabat - The Algerian army's rescue operation has freed nearly 650 hostages, including around 70 foreigners, who had been seized by Islamist gunmen at the In Amenas gas plant, national media said on Friday.

“Nearly 650 hostages seized in the attack carried out on Wednesday by a terrorist group at the In Amenas gas complex, among them 573 Algerians and more than half of the 132 foreign hostages, were freed,” the APS news agency reported. - Sapa-AFP