The raid was planned after al Qaeda militants were spotted transferring the hostages into pickups, “chained and covered in blankets,” according to a website associated with Yemen’s defense ministry.
Militants drove them to a cave over 65 miles away from the town of Hajir al-Saiyer.
U.S. and Yemeni special forces outfitted with night visors embarked on the mission about four miles from the cave. They encountered the kidnappers nearby; a gun battle ensued, and the forces killed all seven abductors.
They also freed eight chained up hostages, who told them that militants had moved five more hostages, including Somers, to another location.
The Yemeni account did not mention the U.S. Special Forces, but a U.S. official confirmed their participation. CNN, at the request of the government, delayed reporting the information about the raid, so as not to endanger the search for Somers and the other hostages at that time.
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