State Department confirms 3 American deaths in Algeria
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department is confirming that three Americans were killed in last week's hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in Algeria, while seven other Americans made it out safely.
Officials say Victor Lovelady and Gordon Rowan were killed at the gas field in the Sahara along with Frederick Buttaccio, whose death was confirmed last week.
A State Department spokeswoman says, "The blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out." She says the United States will work with Algeria's government to learn more about the attack, and try to prevent similar threats in the future.
Militants had offered to release Lovelady and Rowan in exchange for the freedom of two prominent terror figures jailed in the United States. The offer was quickly rejected.
Five Americans had been taken out of Algeria before Saturday's final assault by Algerian forces against the militants. A U.S. official says the remaining two Americans survived the four-day crisis at an oil rig at the facility.
Algeria says 38 hostages of all nationalities and 29 militants died in the standoff. Five foreign workers remain unaccounted for.