American photojournalist Luke Somers has been killed by Al-Qaeda.
In November, American Special Forces made a failed attempt to liberate Somers, who had been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in September, 2013. Details on the November attempt to rescue Somers are still classified, but reports are that Special Forces members liberated other hostages, but Somers was not present at that location. It has been reported that Somers and a British hostage were moved to another location shortly before the rescue attempt.
Early on the morning of December 6th, American forces, with the cooperation of the local government, raided a village in Yemen. The Pentagon had intelligence that Somers and other hostages were being held there. The intelligence turned out to be correct. However, the rescue operation did not go according to plan.
When approximately 40 members of the famed SEAL Team 6 converged on the village and the captors became aware of the rescue attempt, they killed Somers and another hostage, Pierre Korkie, a teacher from South Africa. It has been reported, but not confirmed, that a barking dog may have tipped off the captors to the SEAL team’s presence. After the firefight, several Al-Qaeda captors, 11 villagers and the two hostages were dead. None of the SEALS were reported to have serious injuries.
Korkie was scheduled to be ransomed within the next few weeks. The aid organization that he worked for, “The Gift of Givers,” was reportedly close to negotiating the terms and price of Korkie’s release.
Somers has been an American media sensation for some time. The 33 year old photojournalist has dual American and British citizenship. The family told the media that they are angry over Luke’s death, and feel that he would be alive if it hadn’t been for the rescue attempt.
Somers’ family is understandably frustrated following their horrific loss. Our thoughts and our sympathies are with both the Somers family and the Korkie family in their time of loss. The kidnapping and murder of their loved ones at the hand of Al-Qaeda are tragedies that no family should ever have to endure.
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Military Connection: Al-Qaeda Murders Hostages: By Debbie Gregory