13 Killed In Failed Attempt To Rescue US Hostage Luke Somers

A woman, a ten-year-old boy and a local al Qaeda leader were among at least 11 people killed in the failed rescue mission this weekend in Yemen, along with two Western hostages.

U.S. special forces raided Dafaar in the Shabwa province, an al Qaeda stronghold in Yemen, on Saturday, killing several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). American journalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie were the two hostages killed in the US attempt designed to free them.

Abdel-Razaq al-Jamal, a Yemeni journalist who has been covering Islamist militants, said AQAP likely intended to ransom Somers at first but appeared to have been angered by the earlier rescue attempt in November.

Pierre Korkie was supposed to be released on Sunday after 18 months of captivity due to a deal struck by an aid group. His body is now heading home to South Africa. His widow, Yolande Korkie, said in a statement that she has chosen not to blame anyone for the death of her husband.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Yolande Korkie” author_title=”Pierre Korkie’s widow”]

Today we choose to forgive. We choose to love. We choose to rejoice in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts.


US officials said on Sunday that the militants may have been alerted to the attempt of the Navy Seals to rescue the captives by a barking dog, NBC News reported.

Social media feeds of known militants said an AQAP commander, identified as Jamal Mubarak a-Hard al-Daghari al-Awlaki, was killed in the rescue attempt. He appears to be the same person as Mubarak al-Harad, who is named by the Yemen Defense Ministry as the leader of an AQAP group, according to Reuters.

Yemeni security officials said on Sunday that the raid killed 10 al Qaeda militants. There have been some reports of civilian casualties, including a young boy and an elderly man, but the reports have not yet been confirmed, according to the Washington Post.

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