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Oregon worker among the three American deaths at Algerian gas plant

 Posted: 7:50 AM January 22, 2013

(Oregon Public Broadcasting) — An Oregonian is among the three Americans who died after militants took over a natural gas plant in Algeria, according to federal officials.

Gordon Rowan from the small eastern Oregon town of Sumpter died toward the end of the Algerian hostage standoff. That's according to congressman Greg Walden and officials at the U.S. State Department.

There were no immediate details of how Rowan died.

The Associated Press has reported that militants offered to release two Americans who ultimately died: Gordon Rowan and Victor Lovelady, who worked for a Texas-based company. The U.S. reportedly rejected the militants' call for the release of two people jailed in the U.S. for terrorist activity.

Algerian forces completed their raid of the gas plant over the weekend. Officials in Britain, France and the U.S. have generally backed the Algerians' handling of the standoff. But Japanese media have reported that country's prime minister had appealed for restraint last week.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has expressed condolences for the three Americans. She said "the blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists."

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