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Friday, January 18, 2013

Frederick Buttaccio Identified as American Dead in Algerian Hostage Standoff

From Newsday:
One American worker at a natural gas complex in Algeria has been found dead, U.S. officials said Friday as the Obama administration sought to secure the release of Americans still being held by militants on the third day of the hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in the Sahara.

The officials identified the dead American as Frederick Buttaccio, a Texas resident, but said it was unclear how he died. They said U.S. officials recovered Buttaccio's remains on Friday and notified his family. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she spoke by telephone with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to get an update on Americans and others in danger at the sprawling Ain Amenas refinery 800 miles south of Algiers. She said the "utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life."

Clinton talked to reporters after the Obama administration confirmed that Americans were still being held hostage, even as some U.S. citizens were being flown out of the country for recovery in Europe. The Algerian state news agency reported that 12 hostages had been killed since Wednesday's start of an Algerian rescue operation, and world leaders steadily increased their criticism of the North African country's handling of the attack.
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