Algeria's prime minister says quick intervention was 'the only way possible' to end the standoff, but some foreign governments said they should have been more closely consulted about rescue plans.
Islamist militants have taken gas plant workers from at least ten countries - including the United States - hostage in the Saharan desert.
According to Algerian news sources, some 30 Algerians and 15 foreigners have escaped the natural gas field, and another 35 hostages have reportedly died in an airstrike.
After Egypt set Arab imaginations alight, autocrats from Qaddafi to the Khalifa dynasty face an assault unparalleled since the post-World War II revolutions that brought independence.
Egypt's revolutionary fervor has spread to Algeria, but protesters calling for the government's ouster were outnumbered three to one by police on Saturday.
After Egypt vanquished Algeria 4-0 in the African Nations Cup, the country exploded in celebration.
Tensions between Algeria and Egypt remain high in the wake of Saturday's World Cup match. Gamal Mubarak, Egypt's political heir apparent, is a big soccer fan. The next match: Wednesday.