Obama apologises for hostage deaths in Pak-Afghan border strike

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President Barack Obama on Thursday said he takes “full responsibility” for a counter-terrorism operation on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border that inadvertently killed an American and an Italian hostage held by al Qaeda.

Obama said he profoundly regretted the deaths of Warren Weinstein, an American national, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national.

“As a husband and as a father, I cannot begin to imagine the anguish that the Weinstein and Lo Porto families are enduring today,” Obama told reporters, with a deep sigh, saying he took responsibility for the deaths and has ordered a full review.

The president said the men were killed during a mission that targeted an Al Qaeda compound in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said the mission was “fully consistent” with guidelines for conducting counter-terrorism missions in the region, adding that there was no information showing the hostages were being held at the Al Qaeda compound.