Middle East

Luke Somers: Al-Qaeda group 'threatens to kill US hostage'

Map of Yemen

Al-Qaeda militants based in Yemen have published a video purporting to show a British-born US hostage.

In the video, a man identifying himself as Luke Somers says his life is in danger and appeals for help.

The video also shows a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) threatening to kill Mr Somers unless unspecified demands are met.

The journalist was abducted in Yemen in September 2013.

It is possible that he was one of a number of captives who were the object of a rescue mission by US and and Yemeni forces in a remote part of Yemen last month.

AQAP is regarded by the US as one of the deadliest offshoots of al-Qaeda.

The group is based in eastern Yemen and has built up support amid the unrest which has beset the impoverished country since the overthrow of President Ali Abdallah Saleh in 2011.

The undated three-minute video has not been released publicly.

Mr Somers worked as a journalist and photographer for local news organisations and his material appeared on international news outlets, including the BBC news website.

On 25 November, US and Yemeni forces rescued six Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian being held by AQAP in an operation at a mountain cave in the remote Hajr al-Sayar district of Hadramawt province. Seven militants were reportedly killed.

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