UK-born US journalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie have been killed by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen during a failed rescue attempt.
Saturday’s operation was carried out by joint US and Yemeni special forces in the southern Shabwa region.
During the rescue operation, helicopters swept in and dropped U.S. commandos about a mile from the village where Somers was being held hostage, according to a senior Defense Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
U.S. warplanes flew overhead for protection but did not fire weapons. The commandos, from teams based in the Middle East, killed all of the al-Qaeda-linked terrorists. No U.S. forces were wounded, the official said.
US President Barack Obama condemned Mr Somers’s death as a “barbaric murder”.
They were being held by militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by the US as one of the deadliest offshoots of al-Qaeda.
The group is based in eastern Yemen and has built up support amid the unrest which has beset the impoverished country since the overthrow of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011.
News source: MSN