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American Hostage Murdered by Al-Qaeda As Special Forces Rushed Village in Rescue Attempt

December 7, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
American Hostage Murdered by Al-Qaeda As Special Forces Rushed Village in Rescue Attempt US journalist Luke Somers (left) and South African teacher Pierre Korkie (right) - image courtesy of BBC.com

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American Luke Somers held hostage by Al-Qaeda in Yemen was killed in a rescue attempt by the U.S. and Yemen Saturday.

According to Fox News, Somers was alive at the time, however was critically injured when U.S. special forces reached him in the rescue mission, a Yemeni national security official told the news network.

According to the Wall Street Journalthe special forces unit hiked for six miles through a rough mountain range to reach the village where Somers was being held captive.

The unit reached within 100 yards from the compound when the militants reportedly heard a dog bark, causing  the terrorists to shoot the two hostages.

A fire fight transpired as the special forces unit rushed the compound, ten terrorists were killed along with eight civilians, four Yemeni agents were wounded during the ensuing fire fight.

Two medics with the unit attempted to revive both of the hostages, however one died at the scene while the other died on the operating table inside the USS Makin Island.

Mr. Somers was badly wounded when commandos found him and he died from his injuries by the time he had been flown to a naval ship.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that Somers and a non-U.S. hostage were “murdered by the AQAP during the course of the operation.”

South African hostage Pierre Korkie was the other hostage killed in the operation, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement released early Saturday, President Obama condemned the “barbaric murder” of Somers by the Al Qaeda terrorists.

Obama said he ordered the rescue mission attempt Friday.

A Yemeni top security official said Somers was set to die Saturday at the hands of Al Qaeda militants.

Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry all expressed their condolences to Somers’ family.

FBI agents notified the sister of Luke Somers Of her brother’s death, Lucy Summers told the Associated Press her family asks for peace.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen posted a video Thursday that showed Somers, threatening to kill him in three days if the United States didn’t meet the group’s demands, which weren’t specified.

The news of the failed rescue comes after a U.S. drone strike in Yemen that killed numerous alleged Al Qaeda militants early Saturday, a security official said. The drone struck at dawn in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province, hitting a suspected militant hideout, the official said.

At least six suspected militants were killed in an airstrike in the same province last month. Later Saturday, tribal leaders said they saw helicopters flying over an area called Wadi Abdan in Shabwa province.

Al Qaeda in Yemen is considered an essential threat to U.S. national security, it  has been linked to several failed attacks on the U.S. homeland and is considered the most dangerous arm of Al-Qaeda.

Somers, who was working as a freelance photographer for the Yemen Times when he was kidnapped in 2013 leaving a supermarket in Yemen.

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