WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he takes “full responsibility” for a counterterrorism operation that inadvertently killed an American and an Italian hostage held by al-Qaida.
Obama says he profoundly regrets the deaths of Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto.
The president says the men were killed during a mission that targeted an al-Qaida compound in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He says the mission was “fully consistent” with guidelines for conducting counterterrorism missions in the region.
Obama says there was no information showing the hostages were being held at the al-Qaida compound.
The White House says it also believes two other Americans were recently killed in a counterterrorism operation in the same region.
The White House believes that Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qaida leader, was killed in the same January operation that resulted in the hostages’ deaths. And it has also concluded that American Adam Gadahn was likely killed in a separate U.S. mission.