At least 12 Algerians and foreigners are known dead from the takeover at a natural gas facility in eastern
Algeria, the state Algerian Press Service reported Friday, but al-Qaeda-linked militants continued to hold as many as seven hostages.
The news service, noting that its figures are "provisional," said 18 of the kidnappers were also "put out of action."
Reports of casualties -- and even the number of hostages involved -- have fluctuated wildly since more than a dozen al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked the facility on Wednesday, taking scores of Algerian and foreign hostages.
APS reported earlier Friday that Algerian soldiers freed 573 Algerians and nearly 100 of the 132 non-Algerians in Thursday's raid at the remote desert site.
Even with the latest report, however, it remains unclear how many foreign workers died in the raid or of what nationality, and how many escaped the facility.