Local News

Up to 13 Dead in US Special Forces Hostage Rescue Blunder in Yemen

A 10-year old boy, a woman and a local al-Qaeda leader were among those killed during the failed rescue operation.

luke Somers

At least 11 people were killed alongside two Western hostages during a botched US-led rescue operation in Yemen, Reuters reports.

A 10-year old boy, a woman and a local al-Qaeda leader were among those killed, according to local residents cited by the agency.

The shootout occurred when US special forces raided the Dafaar village in southern Yemen in an attempt to free US journalist Luke Somers held there by militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The rescue team was apparently unaware that a second hostage, a South African teacher named Pierre Korkie who was soon to be released by AQAP, was also held at the location. Both hostages were executed by their captors during the firefight.

At least two more hostages are still being held by the group, Reuters adds.

AQAP is a Sunni extremist group formed in 2009 and based in Yemen. The group has orchestrated numerous high-profile terrorist attacks, among them the failed attempt to detonate an explosive device in the US Northwest Airlines in December 2009.