Luke Somers, American hostage, killed during rescue attempt in Yemen

The New York Times reports: United States commandos stormed a village in southern Yemen early Saturday in an effort to free an American photojournalist held hostage by Al Qaeda, but the raid ended badly with the kidnappers killing the American and a South African teacher held with him, United States officials said.

President Obama, in a statement, said the hostages had been “murdered” by militants belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula during the rescue operation, which he had approved just Friday.

A senior United States official said that the American, Luke Somers, 33, was badly wounded when commandos reached him. By the time Mr. Somers was flown to a United States naval ship in the region, he had died from his injuries, the official said Saturday.

The other hostage was identified as Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher, who had been expected to be freed on Sunday, according to a statement posted on the website of Gift of the Givers, a disaster relief organization that had been negotiating his release. [Continue reading…]

Luke Somers was a contributor to Al Jazeera which has posted a slideshow of his work.

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