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Number of Brits at risk in Algeria 'significantly reduced'

Number of Brits at risk in Algeria 'significantly reduced'

The number of Britons at risk at an Algerian gas installation has been "significantly reduced", David Cameron has said.

The number is now at the "low end" of 10-20, PoliticsHome understands, while local news agencies are reporting that half of the 132 hostages at the site have now been freed.

Speaking in the Commons earlier, the Prime Minister hit out at the Algerian authorities, saying he was "disappointed" not to be informed in advance about a raid by security forces yesterday morning.

He said he had offered the Algerians "technical and intelligence assistance" to deal with the hostage situation, but it is understood the offer has not been yet been accepted.

A Downing Street spokesperson this evening said Mr Cameron had recently spoke to the Algerian Prime Minister, who updated him on the latest situation in the country. The spokesperson added No.10 was in not in a position to comment on the number of Britons remaining in captivity.

“Last night, the number of British citizens at risk was less than 30. Thankfully, we now know that number has been quite significantly reduced," Mr Cameron said.

He explained that due to the "ongoing" nature of operations in the area, he was not able to give more details at this stage.

Responding to the statement, Ed Miliband warned that the attack was evidence of the "growing security threat in north Africa and the wider region".

Speaking before a Cobra meeting today, Home Office minister Alistair Burt said Britain was "doing everything it can" to support those still involved in the hostage incident.

British petroleum and gas workers stationed in Algeria have begun evacuating to the UK, with several planeloads touching down in the UK today, Reuters reports.

Green Box: Number of Brits at risk in Algeria 'significantly reduced'Click to open

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