December 6, 2014

Luke Somers - U.S. Photojournalist murdered by al-Qaeda in Yemen

Luke Somers, age 33, died on December 5, 2014, in the Shabwah province of central Yemen.  Conflicting news reports give the date of Luke's death as December 6. 
Luke Somers

Luke was born in Britain but was raised in the U.S.A.

He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in creative writing from Beloit College in Wisconsin in 2008. 

He had been working as an English language teacher and then as a freelance photographer in Yemen. His ultimate goal was to help the Yemenis to improve the quality of life in that country. 

In September of 2013, Luke was kidnapped by al-Qaeda militants in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.  

U.S. Special Forces had attempted to rescue Luke in November of 2014. Sadly, that rescue attempt failed. A second rescue attempt was undertaken on December 5, 2014, because Luke's life was in imminent danger.  Al-Qaeda militants were threatening to kill him within days. 

Saint Jude, pray for Luke
and for those who have
lost him.
Sadly, the second rescue attempt also failed.  When the rescuers arrived, al-Qaeda members shot Luke Sommers and another hostage, Pierre Korkie, a teacher and aid worker from South Africa. Both men were evacuated by Special Forces to a U.S. Navy ship where one died on the operating table. The other had died en route. 

It has been reported that at least five Al-Qaeda militants were killed.

Officials at Beloit College stated that they are proud to have been associated with Luke and are sorry the world has lost him.  Friends there describe Luke as a sensitive and extremely bright young man with a dry sense of humor.  He wanted to understand the world and his place in it.

Other friends remember Luke as a kind-hearted man who was adventurous. He loved the Yemeni people and befriended them at every opportunity.

Luke's family members are devastated by his tragic death. They describe him as a good person who was trying to do something positive.  He was caring and respectful of others. 

He will be forever mourned.

Luke is survived by many loving friends and relatives including but not limited to his mother, his sister and his brother.

Pray without ceasing unto God for an end to war and conflict in the Middle East. It is enough. We are sick with grief for men like Luke.

Pray that Luke is in heaven. Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

Pray that Pierre Korkie is in heaven.  Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen. 

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