20 Americans and Europeans have escaped
Nearly half of the 41 hostages being held by Islamic militants at an Algerian natural gas facility have escaped, including some Americans. Two people were killed in the initial assault by an al Qaeda operative.
One of the Americans is said to have ties to Houston.
The escape comes as Algerian officials meet with envoys from the US and France to determine whether international military forces could help end the standoff.
The militants claim the attack was in response to government military action in the region. The natural gas facility is a joint venture among BP, the Algerian national oil company, and others.