|Luke Somers in een filmpje dat AQAP vorige weekuitbracht|
A woman, a 10-year-old boy and a local al Qaeda leader were among at least 11 people killed alongside two Western hostages when U.S.-led forces fought Islamist militants in a failed rescue mission in Yemen, residents said on Sunday.
U.S. special forces raided the village of Dafaar in Shabwa province, a militant stronghold in southern Yemen, shortly after midnight on Saturday, killing several members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
American journalist Luke Somers, 33, and South African teacher Pierre Korkie, 56, were shot and killed by their captors during the raid intended to free them, U.S. officials said. As special forces battled al Qaeda militants in the house, kidnappers in another building nearby shot the two hostages, a local man who identified himself as Jamal said.NBC reported that a dog may have alerted the kidnappers that the operation by the Navy Seals was under way.
South African sources said that before th raid the South SAfrican government reached a solution with the kidnppers concerning the release of Korkie, which was expected any moment. The US government appeared to have been unaware of the Southafrican negotiations.
AQAP, formed in 2006 by the merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of the network, has for years been seen by Washington as one of the movement's most dangerous branches.
At least two more hostages are being held by the group.
Apart from the woman and the boy, reports on social media feeds of known militants said an AQAP commander and two members of the group were killed. Six other members of the same tribe also died, the reports said, although they could not be immediately verified.
Several of those said by militants to have died were from the Daghari and Awlaki families, important tribes in Shabwa province. Yemen's government said on Saturday the hostages were being held in the house of a man named Saeed al-Daghari. U.S. officials have said the raid was carried out by U.S. forces alone, but Yemen's government and local residents said Yemeni forces also participated.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the operation, the second attempt to free Somers in 10 days, had only been approved because of information that the American's life was in imminent danger.
Abdel-Razaq al-Jamal, a Yemeni journalist who specializes in covering Islamist militants, said AQAP may have originally intended to ransom Somers as well, but appeared to have been angered by the earlier rescue attempt on Nov. 25.