Hagel: U.S. hostage ‘murdered’ in Yemen
An American journalist was killed by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen during an attempt by U.S. forces to rescue him from captivity, the Pentagon said Saturday. Another hostage, a South African, also perished.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said U.S. special operations forces conducted the raid in central Yemen because the life of Luke Somers, the American journalist, appeared to be in “imminent danger.”
“Both Mr. Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen hostage were murdered by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists during the course of the operation,” Hagel said during a visit to Afghanistan. “On behalf of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, I extend our condolences, thoughts, and prayers to their families and loved ones.”
The second person killed by al-Qaeda during the rescue attempt was a South African being held hostage, according to a U.S. official.
Both hostages were attacked by militants as the rescuers arrived. When rescuers entered the building where they were being held, both were still alive, according to a senior administration official. They were put on a V-22 Osprey and evacuated to a waiting U.S. Navy ship. One died en route, and the other on the operating table aboard the ship.
Read More at: Washington Post
WSJ: Noise May Have Thwarted Somers Rescue Raid
U.S. commandos got to within 100 yards of the walled compound where al-Qaida-linked militants were holding American hostage Luke Somers and South African Pierre Korkie when a noise — possibly a dog barking — may have alerted people inside of the raid, U.S. officials briefed on the failed operation said Saturday.
Then the shooting started, The Wall Street Journal says in an analysis of the operation.
After about a 30 minute battle with the AQAP terrorists, the Special Operations team of about 40 fighters came out, still under fire and carrying the two badly wounded hostages, who medics were not able to save.