ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - Islamist militants in Algeria are claiming that 35 of the hostages they'd been holding were killed Thursday after Algerian military helicopters attacked the area where they were held. They claim 15 militants were also killed -- but seven hostages survived.
The spokesman for the Masked Brigade, which claimed responsibility for the attack Wednesday on the Algerian gas plant, told a Mauritanian news outlet the survivors included three Belgians, two Americans, a Briton and a Japanese citizen.
The information came from the Nouakchott Information Agency, which often carries reports from al-Qaida-linked extremist groups.
The militant spokesman said Algerian helicopters attacked the kidnappers as they tried to leave the complex.
Algeria's news agency, citing local police, said four foreign hostages were freed in the operation.
The Algerian government would not immediately comment.