Up to 20 people are unaccounted in the on-going hostage situation at the gas complex in Algeria which part owned by BP. The British Foreign Office says the UK should prepare for 'more bad news' about British casualties. Islamist militants stormed the site taking countless international staff hostage. It's already been confirmed that one British national is dead and one Irishman managed to escape. Algerian state TV claims at least 600 Algerian nationals and 4 foreign nationals have been released.

However last night the Algerian forces entered the compound – apparently without taking prior advice from any other country. It's believed the military were making a pre-emptive strike to stop the captors fleeing with all the hostages over the border to nearby Libya.

The militants attacked the compound in retaliation over the French military's attempt to stop Islamists claiming more territory in Mali. The al-Qaida militants have been reported to say they are only 'interested in Christians and infidels'

UK Prime Minister David Cameron

"It is a very dangerous, very uncertain, very fluid situation. I think we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news ahead. Cobra officials here are working around the clock to do everything we can to keep in contact with the families to build the fullest possible picture of the information and the intelligence that we have. I've chaired meetings with Cobra today, I will continue to do so and I'll do everything I can to update people on what is a difficult and dangerous and potentially a very bad situation"

The Foreign Office is also due to make a further statement later. Stay with ibtimes.co.uk for the very latest on this developing story.

Written and presented by Marverine Cole