Information and details about the hostage situation in Mali are uncertain and contradictory. But it seems that Algerian forces have stormed the natural gas facility. Reuters reports that 30 hostages were killed (more than we were told there were), though some escaped. The fate of the Americans was not known. From Reuters:
Thirty hostages and at least 11 Islamist militants were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces stormed a desert gas plant in a bid to free many dozens of Western and local captives, an Algerian security source said.
Details remained scant – including for Western governments, some of which did little to disguise irritation at being kept in the dark by Algeria before the raid and its bloody outcome.
Two Japanese, two Britons and a French national were among at least seven foreigners killed, the source told Reuters. Eight of the dead hostages were Algerian. The nationalities of the rest, as well as of perhaps dozens more who escaped, were unclear.
Americans, Norwegians, Romanians and an Austrian have also been mentioned by their governments as having been captured.
UPDATE: Latest details: 100 foreigners were freed, along with 573 Algerian captives. 30 hostages are missing and presumed dead. This thing was bigger than we realized.