Some of the hostages taken in Algeria by Islamic militants are now free according to the Algerian Communications Minister.

The US State Department is not confirming whether any of the hostages freed are Americans.  Algeria's Mohamed Said is reporting that five hostages have been let go, and  Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny is saying that at least one of those was a Belfast man by the name of Stephen McFaul.

Earlier today CNN reported that the four hostages freed included two Britons, a Kenyan, and a French citizen. As many as 41 hostages were kidnapped.