The world was left horrified this past weekend after members of the terror group Hamas went on a blood-soaked rampage.
While Israeli citizens were the group's primary targets, there is also a growing death toll of Americans.
According to the Washington Examiner, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told CNN on Monday saying that nine American citizens had lost their lives in the attack.
"I can confirm that nine Americans unfortunately have lost their lives as a result of these horrific attacks in the region," Miller was quoted as saying.
"We are in close contact with the government of Israel as they continue to conduct security operations to locate missing U.S. citizens, missing Israeli citizens," he continued.
"And we are, of course, in close contact with the families of these nine deceased Americans and offering them any consular assistance that we can provide," Miller went on to add.
However, the BBC revealed on Wednesday that this figure had since grow to 22. What's more, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said another 17 Americans remain unaccounted for.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby warned members of the public that they should expect yet more deaths in the coming days.
"I think we all need to steel ourselves for the very distinct possibility that these numbers will keep increasing, and that we may in fact, find out that more Americans are part of the hostage pool," he declared.
In addition to those who have been killed, CNN reported on Tuesday that President Joe Biden said 14 American citizens had been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan later put the number at "20 or more." Meanwhile, John Kirby discussed the plight of captive Americans with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby speaks to CNN's @wolfblitzer on @CNNSitRoom about efforts to bring home any Americans caught in the Middle East. pic.twitter.com/1TvMebkGHj
— CNN (@CNN) October 10, 2023
"It’s early days right now, and we don’t have a lot of information, Wolf, about where they are and what condition they’re being held, if they’re being moved around, and we have to remember, this is an active war zone, which makes any hostage recovery effort that much more difficult," Kirby told Blitzer.
"We’re obviously going to be developing options, looking at possibilities, how we can get them back, how we can get them back with their families," the official added.