A U.S. journalist and a South African teacher held by al Qaeda militants in Yemen are killed during a rescue attempt by U.S. and Yemeni forces. Mana Rabiee reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS JOURNALIST LUKE SOMERS, SAYING: "My name is Luke Somers. I'm 33 years old..." U.S. journalist Luke Somers has been killed by al Qaeda militants in Yemen during a rescue attempt, senior officials said on Saturday. Yemen's Defense Ministry had said earlier that a military operation SUCCEEDED in freeing a U.S. hostage and killing 10 members of the al Qaeda group that was holding him. Officials say the rescue operation took place in southern Yemen and that it involved an air strike followed by a raid by U.S. and Yemeni forces. Somers was kidnapped in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in September of 2013. He made a plea for his release in this video that was posted online last Wednesday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS JOURNALIST LUKE SOMERS, SAYING: "Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I'm certain that my life is in danger." Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - which has a strong presence in parts of southern and eastern Yemen -- posted the video, threatening to kill Somers if their unspecified demands were not met. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AQAP (AL QAEDA IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA) OFFICIAL, NASSER BIN ALI AL-ANSI, SAYING: "Otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate. We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS BROTHER OF JOURNALIST LUKE SOMERS, SAYING: "Hello I am Luke's brother Jordan Somers and this is our mother Paula Somers... Somer's family had pleaded directly to his captors for his release. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WOMAN IDENTIFYING AS MOTHER OF JOURNALIST LUKE SOMERS, SAYING: "Please show mercy and give us the opportunity to see our Luke again. He is all that we have." (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS JOURNALIST LUKE SOMERS, SAYING: "So, as I sit here now I ask, if anything can be done please let it be done. Thank you very much." U.S. President Barack Obama said he authorized the raid to rescue the journalist and other hostages held in the same location. He condemned Somer's killing as "barbaric murder". Officials say a South African teacher was also killed in the raid.