12 killed in attack on offices of French newspaper

A victim is evacuated on a stretcher on January 7, 2015 after armed gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, leaving at least 11 people dead. (Photo credit: AFP/ MARTIN BUREAU)

A victim is evacuated on a stretcher on January 7, 2015 after armed gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, leaving at least 11 people dead. (Photo credit: AFP/ MARTIN BUREAU)

Shooters storm Paris headquarters of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which has stoked Islamist anger over its depictions of the Prophet

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Boko Haram militants kill 48 fish traders in Nigeria attack

A screengrab taken on October 2, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows group leader Abubakar Shekau ©- (Boko Haram/AFP/File)

Nearly 50 people have been killed in Nigeria in an attack by militant Islamist group Boko Haram on a group of fish traders, a union leader says

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At Least 3 Americans Held Hostage by Al Qaeda-Linked Group in Algeria

U.S. officials have confirmed that Americans are among the hostages being held following an attack by al Qaeda-linked insurgents on a BP joint-venture natural gas field in Algeria.

A senior intelligence official told ABC News that it currently appears three U.S. citizens are being held. However, the official cautioned that the number is subject to change as is the overall number of hostages.

The total number of hostages being held remains unclear, with reports ranging from 15 to more than 40. An official at BP told ABC News that there are approximately 700 local staff and contractors at the facility and 20 international BP staff and contractors at the In Amenas gas field in eastern central Algeria.

The attack was apparently carried out by a one-eyed jihadi leader, Mokhtar Belmokhar, who has been linked to a series of kidnappings of foreign nationals for ransom in North Africa that have earned tens of millions of dollars for al Qaeda’s local affiliate, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Belmokhtar has been nicknamed Mr. Marlboro for his smuggling expertise.

In a briefing, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland condemned the attacks and confirmed that U.S. citizens are among the hostages.

“In order to protect their safety,” said Nuland, “I’m not going to get into numbers, I’m not going to get into names, I’m not going to get into any further details as we continue to work on this situation with Algerian authorities and also their employers.”

“We are obviously closely monitoring the situation and in close contact with the government of Algeria and BP’s security,” said Nuland.

Read Entire Article: www.abcnews.go.com

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