Hostages Killed in Yemen

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Two hostages were killed by terrorists in a failed rescue attempt in Yemen early Saturday morning. The two individuals would be killed by the Al Qaeda when Navy Seals ran into the city in an attempt to save their lives. The first individual was identified as Luke Somers, an American Journalist. The second hostage has been identified as Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher.

The rescue attempt occurred late Friday evening into early Saturday morning. The mission was carried out by both the United States Armed Forces and members of the Yemeni government. Military aircraft carried in members of the Navy Seal’s team and dropped them near where the Al Qaeda was holding the hostages. Gunshots rang out when the rescuers hit the ground as the terrorists raged war with them. The hostages were quickly recovered, carried to the nearby awaiting plane, and taken to a United States vessel that was waiting in nearby waters.

Somers was not able to survive the rescue. He would end up dying on the aircraft that was on route to the nearby awaiting ship. Korkie would live to make it on board the ship; however, he too, would not survive and died on board the ship. According to an individual from Yemen and a witness from the rescue attempt, two of the terrorists were killed in the raid, along with eight or more civilians.

The hostages that were killed in Yemen were a terrible tragedy. It was determined by the President that the raid mission needed to occur after a video message from Somers was released where he begged for his Nation’s aid in his escape. The video showed Somers appearing clean and healthy but pleading for his life. The terrorists demanded that the United States meet their demands or that they would kill Somers within 72 hours. In the video, Somers begged the American government to do everything within their power to see to it that his life was spared.

President Obama, after careful determination, decided to send armed forces into the village for a rescue attempt. In an official statement after the failed rescue, President Obama offered his condolences to the hostages, Somers and Korkie’s families. The President stated that he will do everything within his power to see to it that American citizen’s lives are safe, no matter where they are located. He also stated that he would not comply with terrorist demands and any terrorist that would try to hurt any American citizen will “feel the strong-arm of American justice.”

Somers and his wife had been kidnapped by the terrorists in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, in 2013. Shortly after the abduction by the terrorists, Somer’s wife was released. Korkie and his wife were also kidnapped by the same terrorist group in May of 2013. His wife would later be released as well after friends of the family were able to use their contacts to get communication to the terrorists themselves, begging for the couples release. It was said that further communication with the terrorists led to an agreement with the terrorists to set Korkie free this Sunday, unfortunately this hope would soon be shattered by the failed rescue mission. For the families of the hostages killed in Yemen, Saturday’s tragic events would lead to a day of sadness and grief.

By Kelli Patterson

The White House Briefing Room
NY Times
USA Today
Photo courtesy of Rod Waddington’s Flickr Page- Flickr License