Live updates

Step-mother's tribute to photographer Luke Somers

The step-mother of Luke Somers, the British-born US citizen killed in Yemen after being kidnapped last September, said paid tribute to his professional achievements in a statement to ITV News.

Penny Bearman, Luke's father's wife, said she believed he would want issues of extremism and terrorism to be addressed by dialogue.

Luke’s taste for travel grew early on in life. He was born in London to an American Mother who returned to the States with him when he was seven years old, visiting his father each year in Deal, Kent.

As a young man he worked Salmon Fishing in the Arctic, lived for a time in Jamaica, witnessed riots in Cairo and moved to Yemen in 2011.

He was a talented photographer with a sensitivity for people and people’s lives and made a considerable contribution as a photo journalist in telling the stories of communities in war-torn areas. Recently he lived in Sana’a the capital city of Yemen, living as a well-loved and respected member of the community there. He has extensive coverage of the area online, illustrating and expressing the struggles of the Yemen people.

I think Luke would have wanted issues of extremism and terrorism to be addressed by stepping up the dialogue instead of resorting to conflict between nations.

– Penny Bearman

South African Pierre Korkie's body will be repatriated

The South African government will "ensure" that the body of murdered Pierre Korkie will be brought home following reports of his death today.

Korkie died alongside fellow hostage Luke Somers during a rescue attempt by US special forces in Yemen.

Nelson Kgwete, a spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation for the Republic of South Africa, said: "We have been informed that the American special forces are now in possession of Mr Korkie's body.

"We will arrange with them and the government of Yemen to ensure that we repatriate Pierre's remains to South Africa."


Obama: Luke Somers death a 'barbaric murder'

US President Barack Obama has called the death of Luke Somers at the hands of al Qaida militants a "barbaric murder".

Somers was killed during a rescue operation by US forces in Yemen this morning.

US President Barack Obama called Luke Somers' death a 'barbaric murder'. Credit: Olivier Douliery/DPA/Press Association Images

Obama offered his condolences to the Somers' family, and the family of a non-US citizen hostage who was also killed during the rescue operation, after hearing of their deaths.

"As this and previous hostage rescue operations demonstrate, the US will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located," Obama added.

S African hostage Pierre Korkie killed in rescue attempt

South African hostage Pierre Korkie was killed alongside Luke Somers during a rescue attempt by US special forces in Yemen, charity Gift of the Givers has said.

Hagel confirms Somers died during rescue attempt

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has confirmed Luke Somers and a non-US hostage have been killed by al Qaida militants during a rescue attempt.

Outgoing US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed the news during a visit to Kabul. Credit: SITE Intelligence Group

Hagel said during a visit to the Afghan capital Kabul that there were "compelling reasons" to believe the 33-year-old photojournalist's life was in danger.

The outgoing Defence Secretary described Somers' death as "murder".

US 'unable to reveal result' of hostage rescue attempt

US forces conducted a mission yesterday to rescue Luke Somers, an American citizen who was born in Britain, Reuters reported, citing a US defence official.

Although the unnamed official said they were aware of reports that Somers had died, they were unable to reveal more details about the operation or its result.


Family says hostage Luke Somers has died in Yemen

The family of British-born hostage Luke Somers have told ITV News he has been killed.

Luke Somers, 33, was kidnapped in Yemen last year while he was working for the Yemen Times. Credit: SITE Intelligence Group

Somers was kidnapped by an al Qaida-linked group in September last year while he was working for the Yemen Times.

Somers' family said they were informed of his death by the FBI this morning.

Conflicting reports over fate of British-born hostage

There are conflicting reports about the fate of a British-born photographer held captive by an al Qaida-linked group in Yemen.

Photojournalist Luke Somers was kidnapped in Yemen. Credit: SITE Monitoring Group

While the Associated Press, quoting Luke Somers' sister, reports the American citizen has been killed in a failed rescue attempt, Reuters reports he was freed during a raid.

US-Yemen attempt rescue of hostage Luke Somers

A joint US-Yemeni military operation to free hostage Luke Somers, an American citizen who was born in Britain, took place earlier today, NBC News reported, citing local officials.

The rescue attempt was launched in the Shabwah Province. Credit: ITV News

The 33-year-old's status was not immediately clear, but 10 militants were killed in the operation, a Yemen interior ministry official told the news channel.

Please free Luke, say family of captured photographer

The family of a British-born photojournalist taken hostage by an al Qaida-linked group have pleaded with his captors to let him live.

Luke Somers was kidnapped in Yemen, where he worked for the Yemen Times, in September last year.

The militant group posted a video on Thursday threatening to kill the 33-year-old, who now lives in America, in three days if the US did not meet their demands.

In a video Mr Somers' sister Lucy pleaded, "Please let him live".

His father Michael Somers said in a statement his son was a "good friend of the Yemeni people" and asked for his safe release.

Mr Somers' brother Jordan and mother Paula made similar pleas in an earlier video.

Load more updates