Pierre Korkie killed in Yemen

2014-12-06 13:22

South African Pierre Korkie, who was held hostage by Al-Qaeda militants, has been killed, the Gift of the Givers confirmed today.

“He was killed in an attempted hostage release in Yemen early this morning,” founder Imtiaz Sooliman said.

“We received with sadness the news that Pierre was killed in an attempt by American special forces?...?Our heartfelt condolences to his family in this hour of difficulty.”

Korkie and his wife Yolande were kidnapped by the militants in Ta’izz, Yemen, in May last year. Yolande was released on January 10 and returned to South Africa on January 13. The Gift of the Givers helped negotiate her release.

At the time of the kidnapping, Korkie was a teacher in Yemen and his wife did relief work in hospitals.

The kidnappers demanded $3?million (about R32.5m) in exchange for Korkie’s safe return.

The foundation had tried to make contact with Al-Qaeda through the international media, and it circulated an interview with their office manager in Yemen, Anas al-Hamati.

Al-Hamati was forced to leave Yemen at the end of January for his own safety after Al-Qaeda accused him of stealing the ransom money.

Tribal leaders in Yemen then took over the talks with Al-Qaeda.

On February 25, tribal leaders found out that Korkie was still alive but in bad health. Since then no more information was available on his condition.

Korkie was, however, spotted three times.

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