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The wife of a South African hostage killed in a failed raid to rescue an American said Tuesday that she is putting questions about the operation behind her. "What will it help to accuse? What will it help to find out of what happened? Will it bring Pierre back?" a tearful Yolande Korkie asked reporters. "We choose to let it go."
Pierre Korkie, a teacher, was killed with U.S. photojournalist Luke Somers when a commando raid on an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula compound in Yemen went wrong over the weekend. A South African aid group has said Korkie was on the verge of being released when the U.S. tried to storm the captors' hideout, leading the militants to kill both hostages.
The White House has defended the operation, noting the hostage-takers had threatened to execute Somers after an earlier raid also failed to secure his freedom. Officials in Washington say they did not know that Korkie was being held at the same location and were unaware of the negotiations to win his freedom.
Yolande Korkie — who was kidnapped with her husband but released with help of the aid group — said her husband would want her to forgive those responsible for his death. Flanked by her kids, she recalled his last words: "He said, 'I love you and tell the children I love them'."
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