American Hostage Killed in Yemen, Sister Says - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

American Hostage Killed in Yemen, Sister Says

Posted:
© Luke Somers © Luke Somers

SANAA, Yemen (AP) - An American photojournalist held by al-Qaida militants in Yemen has been killed in a failed rescue attempt, his sister said Saturday.

Lucy Somers told The Associated Press that she learned of her 33-year-old brother Luke Somers' death from FBI agents. There was no immediate comment from Washington, nor from security officials in Yemen's capital, Sanaa.

"We ask that all of Luke's family members be allowed to mourn in peace," Lucy Somers said.

Yemen's local al-Qaida branch, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, posted a video Thursday that showed Somers, threatening to kill him in three days if the United States didn't meet the group's demands, which weren't specified. He was kidnapped in September 2013 from Sanaa.

The news of the failed rescue comes after a suspected U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed nine alleged al-Qaida militants early Saturday, a security official said. The drone struck at dawn in Yemen's southern Shabwa province, hitting a suspected militant hideout, the official said. The official did not elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists.

At least six suspected militants were killed in an airstrike in the same province last month. Later Saturday, tribal leaders said they saw helicopters flying over an area called Wadi Abdan in Shabwa province.

American authorities rarely discuss their drone strike campaign in Yemen. The strikes are incredibly unpopular in Yemen due to civilian casualties, legitimizing for many the attacks on American interests.

In an online video released Saturday, Lucy Somers described her older brother as a romantic who "always believes the best in people." She ended with the plea: "Please let him live."

In a statement, Somers' father, Michael, also called his son "a good friend of Yemen and the Yemeni people" and asked for his safe release.

In a statement Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby acknowledged for the first time that a mysterious U.S. raid last month had sought to rescue Somers but that he turned out not to be at the site.

Kirby did not elaborate on the joint U.S-Yemeni operation to free Somers, saying details remained classified. However, officials have said the raid targeted a remote al-Qaida safe haven in a desert region near the Saudi border. Eight captives - including Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian - were freed. Somers, a Briton and four others had been moved days earlier.

Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 as he left a supermarket in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, said Fakhri al-Arashi, chief editor of the National Yemen, where Somers worked as a copy editor and a freelance photographer during the 2011 uprising in Yemen.

The U.S. considers Yemen's al-Qaida branch to be the world's most dangerous arm of the group as it has been linked to several failed attacks on the U.S. homeland.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Receptionist

    Receptionist

    WBOC has an immediate opening for a receptionist. 

    More

    WBOC has an immediate opening for a receptionist. 

    More
  • Couple Rescued After Sailboat Runs Aground in Ocean City

    Sailboat Runs Aground in Ocean City

    Sunday, November 11 2018 8:33 PM EST2018-11-12 01:33:05 GMT
    Monday, November 12 2018 7:27 AM EST2018-11-12 12:27:43 GMT
    The Ocean City Fire Department rescued a man and woman after their boat ran aground late Saturday night.More
    The Ocean City Fire Department rescued a man and woman after their boat ran aground late Saturday night.More
  • Dover Woman Reported Missing, Police Seeking Info from Public

    Dover Woman Reported Missing, Police Seeking Info from Public

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:56 AM EST2018-11-13 14:56:22 GMT
    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:56 AM EST2018-11-13 14:56:22 GMT
    DOVER, Del. - Police are asking for the public's help in finding a 20-year-old woman from Dover whose family has reported her missing. According to police, Ahyanna Baker-Griffin was last seen leaving her home on South Queen Street with her boyfriend DishiMore
    DOVER, Del. - Police are asking for the public's help in finding a 20-year-old woman from Dover whose family has reported her missing. According to police, Ahyanna Baker-Griffin was last seen leaving her home on South Queen Street with her boyfriend DishiMore
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • WBOC Morning Weather: Nov. 13, 2018

    WBOC Morning Weather: Nov. 13, 2018

  • Phillips Packing House Named One of Six in Maryland to "Fix"

    Phillips Packing House Named One of Six in Maryland to "Fix"

    Conservationists call it a "threatened historic place." The Phillips Packing House in Cambridge was built in the 1920s. At its peak, nearly 10,000 employees packed vegetables and shucked oysters inside its factory. But after closing in the 60's, the building and its two, towering smokestacks have sat untouched. But now, a new initiative aims to restore the Phillips Packing House as soon as this year.

    More

    Conservationists call it a "threatened historic place." The Phillips Packing House in Cambridge was built in the 1920s. At its peak, nearly 10,000 employees packed vegetables and shucked oysters inside its factory. But after closing in the 60's, the building and its two, towering smokestacks have sat untouched. But now, a new initiative aims to restore the Phillips Packing House as soon as this year.

    More
  • Dangerous Driving Observed Near Harbeson Daycare

    Dangerous Driving Observed Near Harbeson Daycare

    Parents and staff at the Lullaby Learning Center say illegal speeding on the Route Nine shoulder is putting their children at risk.

    "We are seeing people pull into the shoulder and just book it up the road at 55 and upwards," explains owner Sheri Gebbia. "This is precious, precious cargo that people just aren't looking out for."

    More

    Parents and staff at the Lullaby Learning Center say illegal speeding on the Route Nine shoulder is putting their children at risk.

    "We are seeing people pull into the shoulder and just book it up the road at 55 and upwards," explains owner Sheri Gebbia. "This is precious, precious cargo that people just aren't looking out for."

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices