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LATEST: Terror Group Demanding Release of "Blind Sheikh," Omar Abdel Rahman, in Exchange for Two U.S. Hostages in Algeria

Here is the latest from FoxNews.com, on the hostage situation in Algeria, where an Al Qaeda-linked group is demanding the release of a jailed terrorist leader in exchange for two American hostages.


By: FoxNews.com

A U.S. Air Force aero evacuation plane is in the process of rescuing Americans and others who were taken hostage by an Al Qaeda-linked group at a gas plant in Algeria. The rescued hostages will be flown to a U.S. facility in Europe.

An American from Texas remains missing after an Algerian military raid on the terror group reportedly ended the hostage standoff at the remote gas plant in the Saharan Desert.

Britain's Foreign Office said Friday the hostage crisis "remains ongoing," but gave no further details.

Militants reportedly want to swap two Americans for jailed terror figures, a Mauritania news site reported. One of the two, Omar Abdel Rahman, masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Algerian state news says about 60 foreign hostages are unaccounted for and negotiations have resumed. The news agency said more than half of the 132 foreign hostages had been freed.

Two Americans escaped unharmed Thursday, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News, and five other Americans who had been at the vast Ain Amenas complex were able to avoid being taken captive when the terrorists first attacked early Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports at least six people, and perhaps many more, were killed -- Britons, Filipinos and Algerians -- in the Algerians special forces' rescue mission. Dozens more remained unaccounted for, including Britons, French, Norwegians, Romanians, Malaysians, Japanese, Algerians, at least one American and the fighters themselves.



Watch the 9am ET update from James Rosen:


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