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Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Friday, 18 January 2013

Algeria security: Risks will rise

UK officials are waiting to learn the fate of a number British hostages held by militants at a gas plant in Algeria, amid fears of multiple casualties after the military attacked the compound.

Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor examined the political and implications of the situation.

"There is a real reluctance to give out information out this morning... the hostage takers could be listening to international media and... and might uses that information... to continue their search for people to take hostage," he explained.

Nick Butler, the former head of BP strategy, told the Today programme's Justin Webb that "the first reaction with the companies... is the concern of a family."

"These big companies... will know one or more of the individuals affected here," he said.

He went on to say that the security concerns now revolve around potential reprisals from energy companies as well as countries in the region.

"The risk of conflict spreading is quite serious," he added, and stressed the importance of "a new line of dialogue with the Algerians".

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