American killed by al Qaeda in failed U.S. rescue attempt in Yemen

American killed by al Qaeda in failed U.S. rescue attempt in Yemen

An American photojournalist and a South African teacher held by al Qaeda militants in Yemen have been killed in a failed U.S. rescue attempt, authorities said Saturday.

U.S. President Obama said in a statement he ordered the raid that saw Luke Somers and Pierre Korkie killed after al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula posted a video online Thursday threatening to kill Somers.

Information “indicated that Luke’s life was in imminent danger,” Obama said. “Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt. … I also authorized the rescue of any other hostages held in the same location as Luke.”

The aid group Gift of Givers later identified the second hostage as Korkie, who the group said was to be released Sunday. They said he was to be flown out of Yemen “under diplomatic cover, then to meet with family members in a ‘safe’ country (and) fly to South Africa.”

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