U.S. plane in Algeria to pick up Americans after hostage crisis

ALGIERS Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:19am EST

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ALGIERS (Reuters) - A U.S. plane landed on Friday at an airport near a desert gas plant in Algeria where Islamist gunmen took hundreds of hostages, to evacuate Americans caught up in the crisis, a local source told Reuters.

He said the plane had landed at In Amenas airport, about 50 km (30 miles) from the plant, which was stormed by Algerian forces on Thursday. Some hostages were still being held inside on Friday morning.

The United States has said it believes Americans were among 41 foreigners the gunmen said they captured on Wednesday but has not given any more details.

(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; writing by Philippa Fletcher)

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