US embassy sends condolences to Korkie, Somers families

2014-12-08 10:59

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Johannesburg - The United States embassy has sent its condolences to the families of Pierre Korkie and Luke Somers after they were killed in a failed rescue mission in Yemen at the weekend.

"The US Embassy offers its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Pierre Korkie, a South African citizen murdered by terrorists, along with US citizen Luke Somers," it said in a statement.

"Just as we are joined in the common struggle against violent extremists, the US and South Africa share in the pain of losing citizens to the threat posed by them."

Korkie and Somers were being held hostage by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen when they were killed in the early hours of Saturday when US special forces attempted to rescue them.

Imminent danger

"The United States remains determined to do our utmost to hold those who have done our citizens harm accountable," said the embassy.

"This heartbreaking incident is a reminder of the need for all governments to unite against the common threat posed to all of our citizens."

In a White House statement on Saturday, US president Barack Obama said the rescue operation was necessary as Somers's life was in imminent danger. He cited a video released by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Thursday threatening to kill Somers within 72 hours.

"...As soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorised a rescue attempt," Obama said.

The Gift of the Givers foundation, who helped in negotiating with al-Qaeda, said Korkie died a day before he was due to be released following a negotiated deal.

Korkie's body was due to arrive in South Africa on Monday.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  luke somers  |  barack obama  |  pierre korkie  |  us  |  yemen  |  abductions

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