Statement of Condolences from the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa

December 06, 2014

The United States Embassy in Sana’a expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Luke Somers who was murdered by his Al Qaeda captors earlier this morning during a rescue attempt by U.S. and Yemeni forces.

Luke came to Yemen full of optimism. Inspired by the events of the Arab Spring, he wanted to tell the stories of a people and a country many in the West knew little about. And like many who travel to this corner of Arabia, he developed a deep love for Yemen and its people.

Those who came to know Luke respected both his work and his humanity.  He worked tirelessly and often at great risk to bring the complexities and realities of Yemen  to light. His friends and colleagues recognized a sensitivity and compassion for his subjects and a love for the country he considered a second home. Indeed, he will be missed by many.

Yemen has lost a friend today and we pause to remember him adding our condolences to those of his family, friends, and the many Yemenis who adopted him as one of their own.

We also express our condolences to the family of Pierre Korkie of South Africa.  His kidnapping and murder by AQAP were acts of cruelty and inhumanity.  We mourn his death as we mourn all the suffering and losses that AQAP has inflicted on Yemen and the Yemeni people.