Chris McGreal
January 18, 2013

The US state department says Americans are still being held hostage by Islamist militants who seized an Algerian gas facility, but that there will be no negotiations with the captors over demands for the release of two convicted terrorists held in US prisons.

The American hostages include a 57-year-old industrial engineer from Houston, Texas, whose brother told the Houston Chronicle that the FBI said the man was still alive after the Algerian military’s assault on the In Amenas natural gas complex, but that he had not been freed or managed to escape. The Associated Press reported that at least one American has been killed.

An undetermined number of hostages is being held by a group of jihadists holed up in a corner of the gas plant in eastern Algeria, where they are surrounded by government forces following a raid by Algerian special forces in which 30 other hostages were reportedly killed.

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