BAMAKO, Mali — Defying the Algerian army’s demands to give up, the band of Islamist militant kidnappers who terrorized a remote Saharan gas field complex still held at least 10 and possibly dozens of foreign hostages Friday, and a senior Algerian government official said there were no talks planned to end the standoff.
“They are being told to surrender, that’s it," the official said on the third day of the crisis. “No negotiations. That is a doctrine with us."
The United States said for the first time that Americans were among the remaining captives and confirmed the first known death of an American hostage, Frederick Buttaccio, 58, of Katy, Texas. LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, lists a Frederick Buttaccio as a sales operations coordinator for BP, the British energy giant that helped run the complex, but an official of BP said the company would not comment on any employee who may have been at the facility.
France said a French citizen also was known to have been killed.
All foreign governments with citizens at risk were still scrambling for basic information about the missing as they ferried escaped hostages out of the country on military aircraft and urged Algeria to use restraint.
“This is an extremely difficult and dangerous situation," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in Washington. Describing a telephone conversation she had earlier Friday with Algeria’s prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, Clinton said she had emphasized to him that “the utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life."
Algeria’s state news agency, APS, said 12 Algerian and foreign workers had been killed since Algerian special forces began an assault against the kidnappers Thursday.