World

Captors were alerted about Yemen operation

It could have been something as simple as a barking dog that alerted the al-Qaeda guards as U.S. special operations forces approached the compound just after midnight. Within seconds, as they neared the building, intense gunfire erupted.

Those details and others provided by U.S. and Yemeni officials about what they describe as Saturday’s execution of American photojournalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie in Yemen illustrate the formidable odds the United States faces in retrieving hostages from the hands of militants across the region.

“There is nothing to indicate what or how these guys knew the team was about to enter the compound,” said one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and a Yemeni intelligence official said Somers (33), and Korkie (56), were shot by their captors shortly after the raid began in the arid Wadi Abadan district of Shabwa, a province in southern Yemen long seen as one of al-Qaeda’s most formidable strongholds.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 7:17:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/captors-were-alerted-about-yemen-operation/article6670424.ece

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