Terrorism

Barking dog foils rescue attempt by U.S special forces

The real devil behind the death of Luke Somers and Pierre Korkie was a barking dog which alerted the AL-qaeda of the approaching U.S Commandos!

The U.S. photojournalist and a South African aid worker died in Yemen after AL-Qaeda militants was tipped off by a barking dog to an approaching U.S.-led rescue mission. They shot their captives before being killed themselves by the U.S Marines.

The military operation to extract American hostage Luke Somers, the second rescue attempt in two weeks, came after U.S. officials became convinced that extremists from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula would execute him today, U.S. officials said.

The second hostage, Pierre Korkie, a 54-year-old former track coach who was working in Yemen as a teacher, was due to be freed by the kidnappers tomorrow after 11 months of preparations, according to Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of the South African charity Gift of the Givers which was working with local tribes to negotiate his release.

President Barack Obama denounced Somers's death as a "barbaric murder."

"Luke's life was in imminent danger," Obama said in an e-mailed statement. "Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt yesterday."

Nighttime Mission

The mission in the southern Yemeni region of Shabwa was based in part on intelligence gleaned from the previous rescue attempt, the U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss operational details. The U.S. was certain Somers was at the site but wasn't sure about other hostages, one of the officials said.

The operation began about 1 a.m. Yemen time. About 40 U.S. commandos were dropped by CV-22 Osprey aircraft about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the compound in a spot shielded by hilly terrain. They traveled on foot, accompanied by Yemeni allies, to the compound with the aid of night-vision equipment. When they were about 100 yards (90 meters) away, a barking dog betrayed their presence, the U.S. officials said.

The militants shot the hostages before the commandos could reach them inside the compound, which was divided into four smaller interior compounds. A U.S. surgical team treated the wounded hostages while under fire and they were placed in an Osprey for evacuation. Both hostages were pronounced dead when they reached the U.S.S. Makin Island, which was located off the coast of Yemen.

The assault was over in less than 30 minutes, U.S. officials said. Four Yemeni counterterrorism troops were wounded and several militants were killed, U.S. and Yemeni officials said.

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