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Int'l press body condemns murder of journalist in Yemen

BRUSSELS, Dec 9 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of Journalists, IFJ, Tuesday condemned the killing of US photographer Luke Somers by his kidnappers in Yemen during a failed attempt by US special forces to release him.
"The IFJ and its affiliates worldwide condemn this latest barbaric outrage and send their condolances to Luke's family. Like many other photojournalists, he decided to live amongst the men and women whose lives and suffering he wanted to portray, " said IFJ President Jim Boumelha, in a statement.
Luke was snatched over a year ago outside a supermarket in the capital Sanaa by a group identified as the al-Qaida branch in Yemen. He was reportedly moved from village to village, but recently appeared in a video released by his captors pleading for help.
The killing of Luke Somers follows the execution of two other journalists in Syria, James Foley and Steven Sotloff who were all killed by the ISIL group last August and September respectively. An attempt to rescue Foley also failed.
The IFJ expressed concern about the tactics of the US government in dealing with such kidnappings and called for the review announced by president Obama following the failure of the latest operation to learn the lessons from what had happened and re-evaluate every aspect of the government's approach to free hostages in similar situations.
"These latest killings have set a new challenge for us in that journalists have now become pawns in wider geopolitical fights." added Boumelha.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries. (end) nk.ibi