MSNBC is reporting that 41 foreign nationals including three Americans have been kidnapped in Algeria.
Early Wednesday morning heavily armed militants allegedly launched a terrorist attack on a gas field.
The situation reportedly unfolded at a gas operation in Amenas, a joint venture including oil giant BP, the Norwegian oil firm Statoil and the Algerian state company Sonatrach.
The militant group claims the raid was launched in retaliation for France's military intervention in neighboring Mali.
One of the kidnappers allegedly warned that any attempt to free the hostages would come to a tragic end. According to an unconfirmed report the militants had placed mines around the site of the kidnapping.
Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, "The U.S. government is in contact with Algerian authorities, the British Embassy in Algiers, BP's security office in London and the Diplomatic Security office in Washington.