Information is still coming in, but as national and international news have reported today, several BP oil field workers in Algeria were kidnapped at gunpoint today. According to one source at least, a French national was killed in the attack.
The Guardian is reporting that seven individuals were kidnapped, five of them Japanese nationals working for an engineering firm, JGC Corporation, as well as a French national. According to the paper, the Irish government also reported one of their nationals had been seized. The report says it is confusing as to whether the same French national seized is the one who was killed.
Tonight, ABC News played an animated reenactment of what allegedly occurred, showing how the workers -- some from America, others from France, the UK and Japan -- were traveling in a bus in Algeria when terrorists stopped the vehicle and attacked. However, apparently the terrorists' major assault was on the the Algerian petroleum facility where BP and its partners operate.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the kidnappers, with links to al-Qaeda, seized as many as forty foreigners including several Americans and 13 Norweigans, among others. The WSJ article appears to counter what the Guardian reported about the confirmation of the French national's death.
Clearly, of course, information is far from clear at this point as governments along with the companies involved are tasked with speaking to the media.
Earlier in the day, BP released a statement saying that they confirm that "an ongoing security incident at the In Amenas gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria" occurred. The In Amenas field is operated by a joint venture of Algerian national oil company Sonatrach, BP and Statoil.
BP said the site was attacked and occupied by a group of unidentified armed people about 5 this morning, UK time:
"Contact with the site is extremely difficult, but we understand that armed individuals are still occupying the In Amenas operations site."
Of course, BP's priority is the safety and security of their staff, which they iterated in the press release. They said the site is usually manned by its staff as well as contractors:
"We do not yet have confirmed information on the status of personnel at the site but believe some are being held by the occupiers."
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called this a terrorist act.
Algerian authorities are working on this along with UK authorities, Norwegian and other governments.