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Militants: Algerian choppers strafe gas plant

In this undated image released Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013, by BP petroleum company, showing the Amenas natural gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. Islamist militants from Mali attacked the Amenas natural gas field partly operated by BP in Algeria early on Wednesday, killing a security guard and kidnapping at least eight people, including English, Norwegian and Japanese nationals, an Algerian security official and local media reported. Algerian forces, later caught up with and surrounded the kidnappers and negotiations for the release of the hostages are ongoing, officials said.(AP Photo/BP)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- A Mauritanian news outlet is quoting Islamist militants as saying that Algerian helicopters have strafed the natural gas complex where they are holding foreign hostages, wounding at least two of them.

The spokesman for the militant group told the Nouakchott Information Agency that two Japanese hostages were injured by the military helicopter fire.

He reiterated the militants' warning that they would kill the remaining hostages if Algerian forces attempted to liberate them.

Al-Qaida-linked militants stormed an Algerian natural gas complex in the Sahara Desert on Wednesday, seizing up to 41 foreign hostages. Algerian forces have surrounded the militants at the plant since then, and have rejected demands for safe passage.