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Jan 17, 2013 | 04:31 GMT

U.S., Algeria: Panetta Confirms Americans Among Hostages

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta confirmed that Americans are among those taken hostage in southern Algeria, American Forces Press Service reported Jan. 16. Panetta said he does not know how many Americans are being held, adding that the United States strongly condemns such militant acts. "I want to assure the American people that the United States will take all necessary and proper steps that are required to deal with this situation," he said. An al Qaeda-linked group took the hostages during an attack and seizure of a natural gas processing facility in southern Algeria.

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