American Photojournalist Luke Somers Held Hostage in Yemen Killed by al Qaeda During a Failed Rescue Operation
Thirty-three year old Luke Somers, the American photojournalist held hostage in Yemen, was killed by al-Qaeda terrorists during a failed rescue operation overnight. According to reports, at least 10 AQAP terrorists holding Somers were killed in the mission. A South African teacher from the Relief group Gift of the Givers, Pierre Korkie, also being held by al Qaeda terrorists was killed. Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the attempt to free the captives was justified; “There were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger.” Earlier this week, a video was posted by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) of Somers and threatened to kill him if unspecified demands were not met. Somers was kidnapped in Yemen in September 2013.
American hostage Luke Somers was killed in a rescue attempt by the U.S. and Yemen Saturday.
A Yemeni national security official told Fox News Somers was still alive, but badly injured when U.S. special operation forces reached him in the rescue mission.
He had been injured by Al Qaeda militants during the raid. He would later die being transported to a U.S. Navy ship of Yemen.
Numerous AQAP terrorists holding the hostages captive were killed in the mission.
President Obama released a statement early Saturday morning condemning the “barbaric murder” of Somers by the Al Qaeda terrorists.
Obama said he ordered the rescue mission attempt Friday.
Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry all expressed their condolences to Somers’ family.
Major General Ali al-Ahmadi, chief of the national security bureau in Yemen, said Somers was killed during the raid and other hostages held by the group had been taken to field hospitals, but gave no details about them or their condition.
Somers was removed from the scene but died later from a wound he suffered during the rescue attempt, a senior official in the Yemeni president’s office said.
Relief group Gift of the Givers said teacher Pierre Korkie was also killed.