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Algerian crisis delays PM's speech on Europe

Algerian crisis delays PM's speech on Europe
David Cameron is postponing his speech on Europe tomorrow to monitor the Algerian crisis as Whitehall sources tell the BBC they are preparing for news of multiple British casualties.

Speaking to reporters this evening, the Prime Minister said the situation in the region was "fluid" and "very dangerous"."We face a very bad situation at this BP compound in Algeria," he said.

He added that he had been chairing COBRA meetings throughout the day and that people should be prepared for the possibility of "more bad news".

Downing Street sources told PoliticsHome that new information had come to light which meant "he simply cannot be away".

As Algerian news agency APS said a military operation to free the hostages was over, the number and nationality of the causalities remains unclear.

Number 10 earlier said the Prime Minister was not consulted before the Algerian military launched their operation to resolve the hostage situation at a gas facility.

Downing Street said Mr Cameron called his Algerian counterpart at 11.30 this morning, when the Algerian prime minister explained that a military operation was underway.

“The Algerian prime minister explained that the situation was extremely fast-moving, that in the Algerian government’s judgment they needed to act immediately,” a spokesman said.

The spokesman confirmed that the Government was now in “constant contact” with Algeria as the operation continues.

Mr Cameron has also spoken to President Obama and President Hollande about the situation today.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary William Hague has returned from Australia early because of the crisis.

A Northern Irish hostage, Stephen McFaul, has been freed and has made contact with his family.

Green Box: Algerian crisis delays PM's speech on EuropeClick to open

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