Official: 3 Americans Total Died In Algeria Attack

By: CBS (Posted by Mary Kenefake)
By: CBS (Posted by Mary Kenefake)

(CBS) Two additional Americans were killed in last week's hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in Algeria, bringing the final U.S. death toll to three, a U.S. official told CBS News Monday.

Seven Americans made it out safely.

The family of Victor Lynn Lovelady told CBS affiliate KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas, Monday that the FBI informed them Saturday of his death.

Previously, two other deceased Americans were identified to CBS News as Frederick Buttaccio of Katy, Texas, near Houston, and Gordon Lee Rowan.

The FBI has recovered the bodies and notified all the victims' families.

Militants who attacked the Ain Amenas gas field in the Sahara had offered to release some of the captive Americans in exchange for the freedom of two prominent terror suspects jailed in the United States: Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind sheik convicted of plotting to blow up New York City landmarks and considered the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist convicted of shooting at two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration rejected the offer outright.

Last week's desert siege began Wednesday when Mali-based, al Qaeda-linked militants attempted to hijack two buses at the plant, were repelled, and then seized the gas refinery. They said the attack was retaliation for France's recent military intervention against Islamist rebels in neighboring Mali, but security experts argue it must have taken weeks of planning to hit the remote site.

Five Americans had been taken out of the country before Saturday's final assault by Algerian forces against the militants.

An Obama administration official told the Associated Press two further Americans survived the four-day crisis at an insecure oil rig at the facility. They were flown out to London on Saturday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Algeria says 38 hostages of all nationalities and 29 militants died in the standoff. Five foreign workers remain unaccounted for.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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