France's Hollande says he is talking to Algeria about attack

PARIS Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:35pm GMT

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday he was liaising with the Algerian government over an attack on a gas facility in Algeria by Islamist militants who said they had taken up to 41 foreigners hostage.

"As I am speaking to you, a hostage-taking is under way in Algeria at an energy facility, with a number of people taken hostage whose exact details we don't know, not even for the French nationals who may be involved," Hollande said in a speech to lawmakers.

"I am in permanent contact with the Algerian authorities who are doing, and will do, their duty. We are also in contact with the heads of state of the countries concerned."

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Writing by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Kevin Liffey)