US 'Unaware' of Other Hostage in Failed Raid

Locals say civilian boy also killed in Yemen raid
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2014 3:10 AM CST
US 'Unaware' of Other Hostage in Failed Raid
This is an undated photo provided by the Korkie family of South African Pierre Korkie.    (AP Photo/Korkie Family)

The US had no idea that South African Pierre Korkie was being held with American Luke Somers before the raid that both men died in, officials say. A US official tells the BBC that special forces were "unaware" of the identity of the other hostage being held with Somers by militants in Yemen, and the American ambassador in South Africa tells the AP that the US was "unaware of ongoing negotiations that had any resolution" between the charity Korkie worked for and the militants. The charity, Gift of the Givers, says it had negotiated Korkie's release and it was expecting al-Qaeda to free him yesterday. Instead, his body is on its way back to his homeland.

The South African government says it is "deeply saddened," but now is not the time for "fingerpointing" over his death. "We are working with the government of the United States as well as the government of Yemen to ensure that we bring finality to this tragic incident," a government spokesman says. More details on the raid have surfaced: It involved around 40 American troops landed by helicopter around 6 miles from where the men were being held, and local people say civilians, including a 10-year-old boy, were killed along with numerous al-Qaeda fighters, according to the Independent. (More Yemen stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.