Photojournalist Luke Somers killed after a failed rescue attempt

December 6, 2014 /Photography News/ American photojournalist Luke Somers, who was held hostage by al Qaeda in Yemen since 2013, and had appeared in a video appealing for help earlier this week, was killed Saturday after a failed rescue attempt, his sister said.

Luke Somers' family appealed in a video to al-Qaeda militants in Yemen to "show mercy" and release him. "Luke is only a photojournalist and is not responsible for any actions the US government has taken," his brother said.

Lucy Somers said she learned of her brother's death from the FBI. "We ask that all of Luke's family members be allowed to mourn in peace," she said. Lucy Somers gave the comments to the Associated Press.

The Pentagon confirmed it launched an earlier failed raid to rescue him, and U.S. officials subsequently confirmed the British-born hostage's death.

Major-General Ali al-Ahmadi, head of Yemen's National Security Bureau, said the authorities had received information that the hostage was due to be killed by al-Qaeda at 6am on Saturday morning, prompting the rescue attempt.

Kidnappings of foreigners have lately been on the rise in Yemen, home to Al-Qaeda’s most active branch, according to Washington.

To counter AQAP, the US has been training Yemen's military on-the-ground and launching drone attacks on the militants.


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