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Victor Lovelady killed in Algerian gas plant siege

NEDERLAND - by Scott Lawrence/KFDM:

The family of a Nederland native described as a great father, a loving husband and talented worker, is confirming to KFDM News he was killed in the hostage standoff in Algeria.

Victor Lovelady, 57, of Houston, died during the standoff. Relatives tell KFDM News Lovelady had been Algeria only 10 days when militants attacked the plant.

KFDM Anchor Ashley Gaston spoke with Lovelady's family in Nederland. Watch for our reports tonight at 5, 6 and 10.

Lovelady's family learned of his death Saturday from the F.B.I.

Erin Lovelady and her uncle, Mike Lovelady, Victor's brother, spoke with KFDM News anchor Ashley Gaston Monday morning.

Erin, 27, is Victor's daughter.

Victor is also survived by his wife, Maureen, and their son, Grant.

Relatives tell KFDM an autopsy will be performed when Lovelady's remains are returned to the U.S.

He was contracted by BP to work at the Algerian natural gas plant and hired by Rovan.

Relatives say the job assignment was a promotion for Lovelady.

He told his family he wasn't scared to work there and felt safe. They had protection at the plant where he lived and worked.

He was contracted to work in Algeria for 28 days. He had been there only ten days before the hostage crisis Wednesday.

"He was a great father," Erin Lovelady told KFDM News. "I have so many wonderful memories of my dad. He taught me the tools to live as an adult. He was very kind, loving and laid back. I could talk to my dad about anything. He gave great advice."

"We would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers and ask that you continue in prayer for our family as we mourn the loss of Victor," said Mike Lovelady.



WASHINGTON (AP) - Two additional Americans were killed in last week's hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in Algeria, bringing the final U.S. death toll to three, an Obama administration official said Monday.

Seven Americans made it out safely.

The deceased Americans were identified as Victor Lynn Lovelady and Gordon Lee Rowan, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The official had no details on how the Americans died, and their hometowns were not released. The FBI has recovered the bodies of and notified the families.

Militants who attacked the Ain Amenas gas field in the Sahara had offered to release the pair in exchange for the freedom of two prominent terror suspects jailed in the United States: Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind sheik convicted of plotting to blow up New York

City landmarks and considered the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist convicted of shooting at two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration rejected the offer outright.

Last week's desert siege began Wednesday when Mali-based, al-Qaida-linked militants attempted to hijack two buses at the plant, were repelled, and then seized the gas refinery. They said the attack was retaliation for France's recent military intervention against Islamist rebels in neighboring Mali, but security experts argue it must have taken weeks of planning to hit the remote site.

One American death was confirmed Friday, that of Texas resident Frederick Buttaccio. And five Americans had been taken out of the country before Saturday's final assault by Algerian forces against the militants.

The U.S. official said two further Americans survived the four-day crisis at an insecure oil rig at the facility. They were flown out to London on Saturday.

The overall death toll from the standoff has surpassed 80.

Algeria said after Saturday's assault by government forces that at least 32 extremists and 23 hostages of all nationalities were killed. On Sunday, the Algerian bomb squads found 25 more bodies, according to a security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. And a wounded Romanian who had been evacuated later died.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Victor Lovelady killed in Algerian gas plant siege

Monday, January 21 2013, 08:10 PM CST
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