UPDATE 7:26 a.m. EST | President Obama announced on Saturday that Luke Somers was among two hostages killed “at the hands of Al-Qaida terrorists” during a rescue attempt conducted by U.S. forces in Yemen.
On Thursday, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula released a video to announce that American photojournalist Luke Somers would be killed within 72 hours.
I knew Luke. Not particularly well. But during my 15 months as a fellow freelancer in Yemen, we crossed paths on perhaps a dozen or so occasions — both social and professional. Quirky, passionate and thoughtful, he also struck me as a fairly private guy.
But his photography is anything but.
Luke never wavered from the front lines. He spent countless hours documenting revolutionaries in Sanaa’s Change Square and snapped photos ranging from Yemen’s former president to children afflicted with malnutrition. His work provides a gripping window into a country rarely on the world’s radar. It also reveals his deep and persistent love for the country.