The US government has said it is “tremendously sorry” for killing two hostages held by al-Qaeda during a counter-terrorism operation in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan earlier this year. The White House said on Thursday that American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto were killed in a drone strike in January in an operation targeting an al-Qaeda-associated compound.
In a statement, the White House expressed sorrow over the hostages deaths and said the US had no reason to believe the hostages were at the targeted site. It also said that the strike resulted in the death of US al-Qaeda leader, Ahmed Farouq. Officials also concluded that Adam Gadahn, an American who had served as a spokesman for the armed group, was killed in a separate US operation in January. The White House said Farouq and Gadhan were not specifically targeted in the operations, nor did the US have information indicating their presence at the sites.