Family of Killed U.S. Hostage Criticise Failed Raid

Family of Killed U.S. Hostage Criticise Failed Raid

The British relatives of the US hostage killed by Al-Qaeda during a rescue attempt in Yemen criticised the raid Monday, saying they would have preferred negotiations.

The operation on Saturday came two days after 33-year-old Luke Somers’ kidnappers had issued a video in which they threatened to kill him within 72 hours.

A South African captive, 57-year-old teacher Pierre Korkie, was also killed, just a day before he was due to be released under a negotiated deal.

Bearman also told The Times newspaper: “We are sure that Luke would have given support to the ongoing discussions (to secure his release) in Yemen rather than the conflict approach. There had been threats before that had not been carried out.”

Somers’ father Michael was “quite angry… because if there had not been a rescue attempt he would still be alive,” she was quoted as saying.

But she added in her BBC interview: “We don’t blame the American government for attempting to rescue him.”

Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 and so it was “quite surprising” that US President Barack Obama sanctioned the attempted rescue 15 months on.

She said his relatives were not given “any warning at all” about the raid.

Half-sister Lucy Somers, 25, said the photojournalist hoped his pictures would help resolve the political and military chaos in the Arabian Peninsula state.