Luke Somers, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaida, poses for a picture during a parade marking the second anniversary of the revolution in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP/Hani Mohammed)
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A top Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen Thursday blamed U.S. President Barack Obama for the recent deaths of two hostages, an American and a South African, in a failed rescue operation.Al-Ansi said he warned the U.S. against such attempts after a first rescue operation in November failed.U.S. officials said that about 40 American special forces were involved in the rescue attempt, which followed U.S. drone strikes in the area.Al-Ansi described the rescue operation as an "execution order" and that poorly equipped militants fended off heavily armed U.S. forces for nearly three hours. Al-Ansi on Thursday claimed that Al-Qaeda wanted to negotiate the release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. He also mentioned Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, known as the "Blind Sheik," who is serving a life sentence in the United States on a terrorism conviction.
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