(UPI) -- The U.S. State Department says U.S. citizens are among those kidnapped early Wednesday at a gas production facility in Algeria.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to specify at a briefing how many Americans were taken.
"The best information that we have at this time is that U.S. citizens are among the hostages," she said. "I hope you will understand that, in order to protect their safety, I'm not going to get into numbers, I'm not going to get into names."
The Algerian Interior Ministry said at least one person died in the attack, CNN reported.
Guards repelled the initial early-morning attack by terrorists, the ministry said. The terrorists then set siege to part of the site and "captured an undetermined number of workers, including foreigners," it said.
The attack appears to be a response to French military strikes on al-Qaida forces battling government forces trying to regain control of northern regions of Mali held by the militant group, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.
An al-Qaida-linked group that said it had come from Mali claimed responsibility for the abductions.
British oil giant BP said the incident occurred at an installation in Amenas. BP runs the facility in partnership with Norwegians and Algerians.