We got word on Friday that an American had died in the Algeria hostage situation, but now the AP reports, by way of a U.S. administration official, that two more Americans were killed in the standoff. "The official said Monday that the FBI had recovered the bodies of the Americans and notified their families. The official had no details on how the Americans died," reports the AP. That isn't exactly the most forthright information, but it's fairly solid if you consider the confusing tale of the BP plant, which has largely come through Algerian state media.
A looming question, of course, is if the American death toll stops at three. The AP notes that seven Americans escaped in the three-day standoff last week, bringing us to 10 American hostages, as ABC News's Martha Raddatz had reported last week:
Snr official tells me there were 10 Americans among the hostages in Algeria and 5 are now safe. but "this is far from over"— Martha Raddatz (@MarthaRaddatz) January 17, 2013
The official death toll for the incident is now 81 — at least 37 of whom were hostages. Algerian officials are still trying to determine how all of this went down and piece together how the Algerian military handled the rescue, which wrapped up on Saturday:
In the final assault Saturday, the remaining band of militants killed seven hostages before 11 of them were in turn cut down by the special forces, Algeria's state news agency said. The military also said it confiscated heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, missiles and grenades attached to suicide belts.
And according to the Algerian Prime Minister, officials are now investigating a claim that a Canadian was "coordinating" the attack.