Washington: An American has been killed in the hostage standoff at an Algerian gas plant, officials said today, as the US sought to secure the release of Americans still being held by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists.
"We can confirm the death of US citizen Frederick Buttaccio in the hostage situation in Algeria," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US is staying in close touch with its Algerian partners and working with affected nations around the world to end this crisis.
"I spoke with the Algerian Prime Minister again this morning to get an update on this very difficult situation and to underscore, again, that the utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life," she said.
"More broadly, however, it is absolutely essential that we broaden and deepen our counterterrorism cooperation going forward with Algeria and all countries of the region. I made clear to the Prime Minister that we stand ready to further enhance the counterterrorism support that we already provide," she said.
Clinton said this is an extremely difficult and dangerous situation.
"No one knows better than Algeria how ruthless these groups are. After all, they fought a very terrible war against them for a number of years, with great loss of life. So we are staying in close touch with our Algerian partners and working with affected nations like our Japanese friends around the world to help end this crisis," she said.