The Obama administration was in the dark Thursday about the hostage situation at a natural gas plant in Algeria, where Algerian forces launched a military assault to free dozens of foreign hostages, including an unknown number of Americans, held by militants who have ties to Mali's rebel Islamists.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday the U.S. "will take all necessary and proper steps" to deal with an Islamist attack on a natural gas field in southern Algeria that has resulted in Americans and other foreigners taken hostage.
Speaking in Algeria, French President Francois Hollande acknowledged the brutality and injustice of the country’s colonial rule over Algeria while declaring a “new era” in relations between the two nations that would see an increase in bilateral trade and cooperation.
Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ethiopia have made it to the final round of the African World Cup qualification tournament. Only five will move forward to compete in the 2014 World Cup.