A POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGH IN THE STANDOFF AT A NATURAL GAS PLANT IN THE SAHARA DESERT.

ALGERIAN STATE MEDIA SAY MORE HOSTAGES ARE NOW FREE ...

NEARLY ONE HUNDRED OF THE 132 KIDNAPPED BY ISLAMIST MILITANTS HAVE LEFT A GAS PLANT WHERE THEY WERE HELD CAPTIVE SINCE WEDNESDAY.

LOCAL T-V AIRED THIS VIDEO INSIDE A MEDICAL CENTER AND SPOKE WITH TWO OF THE HOSTAGES FROM TURKEY.

[Notes:SOUNDBITE: name unknown, freed Turkish hostage: "Everything is very happy, they bring us here. They were very fast-acting."]

[Notes:SOUNDBITE: Name unknown, freed Turkish hostage: "And everything is ok thanks to Algerian army and hospital workers, everyone is taking very good care of us and we were lucky that everyone is still alive and good."]

THE KIDNAPPED WORKERS CAME FROM AROUND THE WORLD ... INCLUDING SEVERAL FROM THE U-S AND THE U-K.

MANY BOARDED THIS BUS AT THE PLANT ... THE FIRST STEP IN HEADING HOME.

[Notes:SOUNDBITE: Darren Matthews, freed British hostage: "I feel safe, I feel safe at the moment, but I won't feel 100 percent happy until I'm back in the UK, until I see my family and then I'll be happy."]

[Notes:SOUNDBITE: name unknown, freed hostage: "I was very impressed with the Algerian army, very exciting episode."]

[Notes:SOUNDBITE: Ian (no last name) "As much as we're glad to be out, our thoughts are with colleagues who are still there at the moment. But, very relieved."]

IT ALL STARTED ON WEDNESDAY ...

THAT'S WHEN THE MILITANTS ATTEMPTED TO HIJACK TWO BUSES AT THE PLANT ... AND THEN SEIZED THE REFINERY.

AND KIDNAPPING HUNDREDS OF WORKERS FROM 10 COUNTRIES.

THERE'S BEEN NO WORD FROM THE GOVERNMENT NEWS AGENCY ON ANY CASUALTIES

BUT EARLIER IT SAID THAT 18 MILITANTS HAD BEEN KILLED ... ALONG WITH SIX HOSTAGES.

SO IT'S NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE REMAINING FOREIGNERS WERE STILL BEING HELD CAPTIVE ... OR HAD BEEN KILLED.

NICOLE GRETHER -- THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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