The United States killed two Western hostages held by al-Qaeda in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Warren Weinstein, an American contractor, appeared in a video in 2012 pleading with the Obama administration not to be forgotten.
In January Weinstein was killed by US bombs.
The New York Times reported:
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The White House acknowledged on Thursday that two hostages held by Al Qaeda were accidentally killed in an American government counterterrorism operation in January and said President Obama “takes full responsibility.”
In an extraordinary statement, the White House said intelligence agencies had confirmed that Warren Weinstein, an American held by Al Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian held since 2012, died during the operation.
“The operation targeted an al-Qaeda-associated compound, where we had no reason to believe either hostage was present, located in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the statement said. “No words can fully express our regret over this tragedy.”
Two other Americans who belonged to Al Qaeda, Ahmed Farouq and Adam Gadahn, were also killed in American operations in the same region, the statement said.