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Widow of slain South African hostage say she forgives killers, thanks negotiators

In this Tuesday, April 16, 2013 photo, Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaida, uses a camera during a demonstration demanding the release of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo Bay prison in front of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. Somers and a South African teacher held by al-Qaida militants in Yemen were killed Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 during a U.S.-led rescue attempt, a raid President Barack Obama said he ordered over an "imminent danger" to the reporter. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

In this Tuesday, April 16, 2013 photo, Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaida, uses a camera during a demonstration demanding the release of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo Bay prison in front of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. Somers and a South African teacher held by al-Qaida militants in Yemen were killed Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 during a U.S.-led rescue attempt, a raid President Barack Obama said he ordered over an "imminent danger" to the reporter. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The widow of the South African hostage killed during a rescue attempt in Yemen says she has chosen to forgive her husband's killers.

In a statement released Sunday, Yolande Korkie said she was heartbroken by her husband Pierre Korkie's death.

Issuing a statement for the first time since Korkie was killed by al-Qaida militants during a U.S.-led rescue mission on Saturday, Yolande Korkie thanked Gift of the Givers, the South African aid organization that supported her campaign for her husband's freedom, and the Yemeni tribes who directly negotiated for his release with his al-Qaida captors.

Pierre Korkie was supposed to be released Sunday after 18 months of captivity under a deal struck by the aid group. Instead, his body is being flown to South Africa Monday.