US hostage killed by al-Qaeda in failed rescue attempt

Posted at 11:29 AM, Dec 06, 2014

American hostage Luke Somers is dead.

He was killed by al-Qaeda militants during a failed rescue attempt by U.S. Navy SEALs Friday night. Somers, 33, an American and British photojournalist, was being held in Yemen along with South African hostage Pierre Korkie.

“The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of Luke Somers at the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists," said President Barack Obama Saturday morning.

The hostages were shot during a firefight between the SEALs and al-Qaeda militants after the element of surprise was lost, CNN reports. Somers was treated by medical personnel and later died. There were no U.S. military casualties.

Obama said the rescue was attempted because Somers' life was in imminent danger. A video had been released that said he would be killed within 72 hours.

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Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern or email him at