American worker found dead in Algeria

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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 10:35 am | Updated: 4:55 pm, Fri Jan 18, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say an American worker at a natural gas complex in Algeria has been found dead. The officials identify him as Frederick Buttaccio of Texas. They say it's not clear how he died. His remains have been recovered.

The Obama administration has confirmed that Americans are still being held hostage by the Islamic militants who attacked the facility in Algeria's Sahara Desert on Wednesday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she has urged Algeria's prime minister to try to protect the remaining hostages as Algeria works to end the hostage standoff. U.S. officials aren't confirming the number of Americans who are still being held or are unaccounted for. They are flatly rejecting an offer from the militants.

The hostage-takers offered to free two American hostages in exchange for the release of two men in prison in the United States -- including a blind sheikh who was convicted of plotting to blow up New York City landmarks. A State Department spokeswoman says, "The United States does not negotiate with terrorists."

Algeria's state news service reports that 12 hostages have been killed since the start of an Algerian rescue effort yesterday.

The news service reported earlier today that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants were free -- but questions remained about the fate of the others.

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