Barack Obama confirms US and Italian hostages killed in US raid

Barack Obama confirms US and Italian hostages killed in US raid

-NRN/Reuters

The US has confirmed an American and an Italian who had been held hostage for several years by al Qaeda in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan were inadvertently killed in a U.S. counter terrorism operation in January.

President Barack Obama has made the announcement overnight.

“I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families,” President Obama said in an appearance at the White House.

The operation, in which American doctor Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto were killed, also resulted in the death of an American al Qaeda leader, Ahmed Farouq, the White House said.

Another American al Qaeda member, Adam Gadahn, was also killed, likely in a separate operation, the White House added.

U.S. government sources said the operations involved drone strikes.

President Obama said he took “full responsibility” for the operation that killed the hostages, adding, “It is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally and our fight (against) terrorists specifically, mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes, can occur.”

The United States had believed the target was an al Qaeda compound with no civilians present, and the operation was thought to have killed dangerous al Qaeda members, the US leader said.

An investigation into the deaths will be undertaken.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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