One American is confirmed dead in Algeria hostage crisis

One American has been killed in the three-day hostage crisis in Algeria, The Associated Press is reporting.

The remains of Frederick Buttaccio, a Texan, have been recovered and his family has been notified, U.S. officials told the wire service. It remains unclear when he was killed and whether any Americans remain captive.

Al Qaeda-linked militants said Wednesday they'd captured as many as seven Americans when they took over a natural-gas facility in the desert near the Libyan border. The Algerian government said its armed forces had rescued more than 600 hostages in a raid Thursday evening, but militants said air strikes had killed 35 of them, along with several of their captors.

The situation remained unresolved as of Friday afternoon, with reports that a handful of Islamists were still holed up with several hostages. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said earlier on Friday that Americans were still being held captive.

The State Department has rejected demands from the hostage-takers that two convicted terrorists be released.

“The United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” Nuland said.

The Islamist militants want the United States to release “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman and Aafia Siddiqui. Rahman was convicted of planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Siddiqui, also known as “Lady Al Qaeda,” is in prison for shooting two Americans in Afghanistan in 2008.