Pool _ AP Clients Only

London - Jan. 19

1. Wide of press conference

2. SOUNDBITE: Philip Hammond/ British Defense Minister

We remain in close contact with the Algerian government. The cobra committee met again this morning and the latest information we have is that the hostage situation has been brought to an end by a further assault by Algerian forces which has resulted in further loss of life. We're pressing the Algerians for details on the exact situation and the numbers that have been killed and if any the numbers rescued.

3. Wide of press conference

4. SOUNDBITE: Leon Panetta - US Defense Secretary

"we are still trying to get accurate information about just what exactly how many Americans were located there and what happened to them. We have sketchy information and I just don't want to say anything until we can fully confirm what the situation is, but we do know there were Americans there and they were held hostage as to what is happened that's something we just need to get better information on.

5. Walk out


The U.S. and British defense chiefs said Saturday the hostage crisis in Algeria ended with more deaths, but that details remained unclear. They blamed the militants who seized the natural gas complex in the Sahara, and not Algeria's government for its rescue operation.

At a joint news conference in London, British Defense Minister Philip Hammond called the loss of life appalling and unacceptable.

"It is the terrorists that bear the sole responsibility," he told reporters.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said much remains "sketchy" about what happened at the remote Ain Amenas gas field.