One American and one Italian who had been held hostage by al Qaeda in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan were killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January, the White House said on Thursday.

The operation in which American doctor Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto were killed also resulted in the death of an American al Qaeda leader, Ahmed Farouq, the White House said. Another American al Qaeda member, Adam Gadahn, also was killed, likely in a separate operation, the White House added.

U.S. President Barack Obama was scheduled to make a statement on the incident.

In a written statement, the White House expressed “tremendous sorrow” over the hostage deaths and said the United States had no reason to believe hostages were at the al Qaeda related compound targeted in the operation.

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