Algerian Hostage Crisis: American Killed by Islamic Militants

Brian Ross reports the latest news on the hostage situation at natural gas plant.
3:20 | 01/19/13

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Transcript for Algerian Hostage Crisis: American Killed by Islamic Militants
the breaking news on the harrowing hostage situation in the african desert. This morning, we have more information about an american killed by the islamist terrorists. And others are in danger right now. Brian ross has been covering this from the jump. He's with us this morning. Reporter: Good morning, dan. The death toll continues to climb with at least 1 american and 11 other hostages reported to have been killed. The algerian military has twice stormed the natural gas facility. But authorities say the situation is still not resolved. And a number of western workers, including americans, apparently remain hostages. The state department has now confirmed that 58-year-old fred buttaccio of suburban houston, was killed at some point during the attack and subsequent rescue effort. But another american,k cobb of corpus christi, texas, is reported to be safe. Cobb is a senior manager at the bp facility. And sent a message to them, I'm alive. The al qaeda-linked group that claimed the facility had been planned for some two months. In both assault, the algerian army, using tanks and helicopters, found the terrorists were heavily armed and prepared to fight to the death. One official described the aftermath as carnage. Hostages who escaped or were freed, said the terrorists only wanted westerners or americans, and were brutal in the treatment of some. It happened so fast. We were lucky that we are still alive. Reporter: Another worker said he escaped as the terrorists tried to drive them to another location. And the algerian army opened fire on the convoy. American officials urged the algerians to go slow, out of concern for the safety of the hostages. They didn't let the terrorists dig in. They didn't negotiate. They moved quickly. Reporter: The attack has led the u.S. And its allies to marshal resources, to track down the alleged mastermind, this man, mokhtar belmokhtar, who has safe haven in mali, 1,000 miles away. French military aircraft were already active here, even before the algerian attack. According to abc news correspondent, bazi kanani in the capital. Reporter: There's much relief here in southern mali, now that more international help is coming in. One of the first targets for the french warplanes that arrived a week ago, was the headquarters of the leader of the terror group involved in the algerian hostage crisis. The u.S. Said it won't send troops into mali. But it is sharing intelligence with france. And by monday, the u.S. Air force will be helping to fly in french troops and equipment. Reporter: U.S. Officials say they will work with the french and others to make sure belmokhtar pays a price. Those who would wantonly attack our country and our people, will have no place to hide. Reporter: Details about exactly what is happening this morning at the facility remains very sketchy. Not only to reporters who are being kept about 20 miles away. But also to government officials in london, washington and paris, who encourage algerians to make the safety of the hostages their first priority. Wonder if there's tensions between the american government and the algerian military this morning. Brian, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Get information back. Brian, thanks. We turn, now, tonight two of lance armstrong's public

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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