LONDON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday condemned the "brutal and savage" hostage crisis that involved several Britons by an al-Qaeda linked group in Algeria, after delaying a much anticipated speech in the Netherlands about Britain and the EU.
Cameron told members of the British parliament in a statement on Algeria hostage crisis that less than 30 British citizens were believed to be "at risk" in Algeria.
That number has now been "quite significantly reduced", Cameron said, but he could not give any further details.
He expressed "disgust and condemnation" at the "brutal and savage attack".
Cameron updated the MPs on the situation after chairing a meeting of the government's emergency response committee.
He said the attack as "large, well co-ordinated and heavily armed" and appeared to be pre-planned.
The the hostages takers, believed to have carried out the raid on the In Amenas gas plant said it was retaliating for French military intervention against al Qaeda-backed rebels in neighboring Mali.
They claimed to have seized dozens of foreign workers, including Britons, Americans, Norwegians and Japanese.
The British prime minister has canceled a long-waited speech, described by some as the "most important speech on Europe by a British PM since 1945," because of the Algerian hostage crisis by postponing his visit to the Netherlands.
Speaking after canceling his Europe speech, Cameron said: "We should be prepared for the possibility of further bad news, very difficult news, in this extremely difficult situation."
Foreign Secretary William Hague also cut short a visit to Australia to return to Britain.
Algerian military launched an air and ground assault in an attempt to rescue the hostages kidnapped by a group of militants at a natural gas plant operated jointly by British Petroleum and Algerian and Norwegian companies.
According to local media reports, among those confirmed freed include Irishman Stephen McFaul and three Japanese workers.
One British citizen has already been confirmed dead earlier in the hostage situation, but the fate of others was unclear.