Al-Qaida Takes American Hostages at BP Refinery in Algeria

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The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From AP:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday the U.S. "will take all necessary and proper steps" to deal with an Islamist attack on a natural gas field in southern Algeria that has resulted in Americans and other foreigners taken hostage.

Panetta would not detail what such steps might be, but he condemned the incident as "terrorist attack" and likened it to al-Qaida activities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and in the United States on 9/11.

A militant group that claimed responsibility says it's holding seven Americans, but State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said she wouldn't provide details to protect those who were kidnapped. Panetta said he didn't know the numbers of those kidnapped.

Militants said they attacked and occupied the field partly operated by the energy company BP because of Algeria's support of France's operation against al-Qaida-linked Malian rebels groups to the southeast.

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