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US journalist killed in failed rescue raid in Yemen

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Luke SomersAn American photojournalist and a South African teacher held by Al-Qaeda in Yemen were killed Saturday during a failed U.S.-led rescue attempt, a raid President Barack Obama said he ordered over an "imminent danger" to the reporter.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) previously posted a video online threatening to kill photographer Luke Somers, prompting a second rescue attempt for him by American forces backed by Yemeni ground troops. But an aid group helping negotiate the release of South African Pierre Korkie said he was to be freed Sunday and his wife was told only that morning: "The wait is almost over."

In a statement, President Obama did not address Korkie by name, only saying he "authorized the rescue of any other hostages held in the same location as Luke." The South African government did not immediately comment on Korkie's death.

Information "indicated that Luke's life was in imminent danger," Obama said. "Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt."

"On behalf of the American people," he said, "I offer my deepest condolences to Luke’s family and to his loved ones ... Their despair and sorrow at this time are beyond words."

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