South African Pierre Korkie Also Killed in Raid
“There were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger… Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation.”
— U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
Luke Somers, 33 years old, was killed by militants, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday. Several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, were also killed in the raid.
South African teacher Pierre Korkie was also killed in the raid, according to a charity that had been trying to help negotiate his release.
“The United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence, and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located. And terrorists who seek to harm our citizens will feel the long arm of American justice.”
— President Barack Obama
Mr. Hagel said the raid was ordered by President Barack Obama because “there were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers’ life was in imminent danger.”
“Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by the AQAP terrorists during the course of the operation,” Mr. Hagel said in a statement.
A U.S. official said Mr. Somers was shot by militants as the raid unfolded and wasn’t killed in crossfire.
“We received with sadness the news that Pierre was killed in an attempt by American Special Forces, in the early hours of this morning, to free hostages in Yemen.”
— Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman
It wasn’t immediately clear where Mr. Somers’s remains were.
The raid took place after AQAP had warned that they would kill Mr. Somers if U.S. forces attempted another “foolish” rescue attempt, in a video statement released Thursday. In the video, an AQAP commander threatened to kill Mr. Somers by the end of the week if their unspecified demands weren’t met. Read the rest of this entry »