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Published On: Sat, Jan 19th, 2013

Frederick Buttaccio, Texas man, confirmed as American killed in Algerian terrorist hostage crisis

One American worker at a natural gas complex in Algeria has been found dead, U.S. officials said Friday.

Frederick Buttaccio, a Texas resident, was identified as the American who died, said the statement from State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. A spokesman for the Buttaccio family in the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas, declined to comment.

Rene and Fred Buttaccio (Facebook) Fred sadly died during the Algerian hostage crisis.

Rene and Fred Buttaccio (Facebook) Fred sadly died during the Algerian hostage crisis.

“We express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Nuland said. “Out of respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.”

It was not immediately clear whether Buttaccio was the only American killed in the hostage standoff.

FoxNews.com reported it had confirmed Buttaccio died of a heart attack during a raid by the Algerian military, which targeted the al Qaeda-linked terrorists who began taking hostages Wednesday.

U.S. officials told AP that Buttaccio’s remains were recovered Friday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Buttaccio, age 58, is from Katy Texas, just outside of Houston.

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.

Clinton, however, defended Algeria’s action. “Let’s not forget: This is an act of terror,” she told reporters in Washington. “The perpetrators are the terrorists. They are the ones who have assaulted this facility, have taken hostage Algerians and others from around the world as they were going about their daily business.”

Earlier Friday, Algeria’s state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants were free. That number of hostages at the remote desert facility was significantly higher than any previous report, but questions remained about the fate of more than 30 other foreign energy workers.

A satellite image of the BP gas complex supplied by Digital Globe

A satellite image of the BP gas complex supplied by Digital Globe

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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