A U.S. journalist and a South African teacher held by al Qaeda militants in Yemen were killed during a rescue attempt by U.S. and Yemeni forces, senior officials said on Saturday.
U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said al Qaeda militants killed Luke Somers, 33, and another hostage during the rescue operation.
Major General Ali al-Ahmadi, chief of the national security bureau in Yemen, said Somers was killed during the raid and other hostages held by the group had been taken to field hospitals, but gave no details about them or their condition.
Somers was removed from the scene but died later from a wound he suffered during the rescue attempt, a senior official in the Yemeni president’s office said.
Relief group Gift of the Givers said teacher Pierre Korkie was also killed.
“We received with sadness the news that Pierre was killed in an attempt by American Special Forces, in the early hours of this morning, to free hostages in Yemen,” it said in a statement on its website.