(Source: CBS 5 News) Gwen Eckholm was a neighbor of Gordon Rowan when he lived in Mesa. Rowan was among three Americans killed in Algeria.
(Credit: AP Photos) In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Algerian soldiers secure the airport in Ain Amenas, Algeria, before the departure of freed hostages Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The U.S. State Department has confirmed three Americans, including a former Mesa resident, were among those killed during last week's hostage standoff in Algeria.
The terrorists reportedly offered to let them go if the U.S. released two terror suspects, but the government wouldn't negotiate.
In the end, all the terrorists and as many as 50 hostages were killed. Seven Americans were among the survivors.
Gordon Rowan was a petroleum engineer who worked in the gas fields raided by Al Qaida militants.
Rowan lived in Mesa until a few years ago, when he moved to Oregon.
He still kept in touch with many of his neighbors in the East Valley.
"We actually, last time I saw him, discussed where he was," Gwen Eckholm told CBS 5 News. "And what, you know, I asked him, 'Gordon are you safe over there?' And he said, 'Yeah, we are in the middle of nowhere, you know we are in a compound, and very secure.' Not as secure as he thought, I guess."
Neighbors also said Rowan had plans to retire soon.
He had two sons who now live in California.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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