Barking dog thwarted Korkie rescue attempt

2014-12-08 09:26

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A barking dog betrayed the presence of soldiers on a mission to save hostages held by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Beeld newspaper, quoting from intelligence reports, said United States Seals (Sea, air and land teams) walked more than 11km on Friday night to a hamlet in the Sjabwah area where the hostages were being held.

They were about 100 metres from the buildings where al-Qaeda members were hiding when a dog barked.

The soldiers and extremists opened fire and one extremist was seen running to an outside room.

It is believed that he shot the hostages – South African teacher Pierre Korkie and American photojournalist Luke Somers.

The US Seals found Korkie and Somers in an outside room after a 30-minute shoot-out with the hostage takers.

Ten extremists were also killed.

Both Korkie and Somers were critically wounded and were airlifted in a V-22 Osprey plane to a US ship in the Gulf of Aden.

Medical personnel performed emergency operations on both Korkie and Somers in the aircraft, but Korkie died before it reached the ship; and Somers died shortly after arriving on the ship.

Korkie’s body is expected back in South Africa today.

The United States embassy in South Africa sent its condolences to the families of Korkie and Somers.

“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,” said the embassy.

“The United States remains determined to do our utmost to hold those who have done our citizens harm accountable ... This heartbreaking incident is a reminder of the need for all governments to unite against the common threat posed to all of our citizens.”

On Saturday, US president Barack Obama said the rescue operation was necessary because Somers’ life was in imminent danger. He cited a video released by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Thursday. In the video they threatened 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.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.