U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that American Luke Somers and a second hostage being held by terrorists in Yemen were "murdered" during a rescue attempt ordered by President Barack Obama.

In a statement issued Saturday, Hagel said there were "compelling reasons to believe Somers' life was in imminent danger."

He says that Somers and a second non-U.S. citizen were "murdered by AQAP terrorists during the mission." He did not identify the second hostage.

Hagel says that several terrorists were also killed in the mission carried out by U.S. special forces.