Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed American photojournalist Luke Somers and Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher, during a hastily organized rescue attempt by US forces that took place in southern Yemen earlier today. The raid was authorized after AQAP had threatened to kill Somers within 72 hours unless its demands were met.

The rescue attempt and the hostages’ deaths were announced by the US Department of Defense in a press release. The operation “was quickly but thoroughly planned,” after being authorized by President Barack Obama and the Yemeni government on Dec. 5.

“US Special Operations forces were close to the Yemeni compound when al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists detected them and murdered American Luke Somers and another Western hostage,” the press release stated. “The Yemeni government approved the operation and gave its full support.” […]