American photojournalist Luke Somers, 33, was killed during a failed U.S.-led rescue attempt in Yemen, officials told The Associated Press on Saturday. South African hostage Pierre Korkie, who an aid group said was due to be released just one day later, on Sunday, was also killed.
Al Qaeda militants had released a video online on Thursday threatening to kill Somers, who was kidnapped in September 2013. That led President Barack Obama to authorize a rescue attempt for Somers, along with any other hostages being held at the same location. But a Yemeni official said the two men were shot either before or during the raid.
Obama denounced Somers' death as a "barbaric murder," in a statement, and he promised that "terrorists who seek to harm our citizens will feel the long arm of American justice."