Seven Americans are reportedly among those who have been kidnapped, and are now hostages of al Qaeda.

The raiders were also reported to have killed three people, including a Briton and a French national.

An al Qaeda affiliated group said the raid had been carried out because of Algeria’s decision to allow France to use its air space for attacks against Islamists in Mali, where French forces have been in action against al Qaeda-linked militants since last week.

The attack in southern Algeria also raised fears that the French action in Mali could prompt further Islamist revenge attacks on Western targets in Africa, where al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) operates across borders in the Sahara desert, and in Europe.

AQIM said it had carried out Wednesday’s raid on the In Amenas gas facility in OPEC member Algeria, Mauritania’s ANI news agency reported.

But…Obama told us that Al Qaeda is on the run…