US hostage in Yemen, Luke Somers.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
President Barack Obama on Saturday condemned the "barbaric murder" by al-Qaida of US hostage Luke Somers in Yemen during a rescue attempt by US forces.
"On behalf of the American people, I offer my deepest condolences to Luke's family and to his loved ones," Obama said in a statement.
"As this and previous hostage rescue operations demonstrate, the United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located. And terrorists who seek to harm our citizens will feel the long arm of American justice."
Al-Qaida militants killed Somers and another hostage during a rescue operation in Yemen, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday, saying the attempt to free the captives was justified.
"There were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers' life was in imminent danger," Hagel said in Kabul.
The second hostage was not a US citizen, Hagel said.