Obama, Panetta praises rescue of US citizen in Afghanistan
By Sadaf Shinwari - 10 Dec 2012, 10:51 am
US President Barack Obama and his Defence Secretary Leon Panetta have praised Special Forces for conducting a successful rescue operation in Afghanistan that left one American soldier and seven militants dead.
An American doctor kidnapped by the Taliban was rescued Sunday by Afghan and coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, officials said. At least six people were killed and two Taliban leaders were arrested during the rescue.
A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said Dr. Dilip Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo., was rescued early Sunday, local time, in eastern Afghanistan. Joseph, a medical adviser for Colorado Springs-based Morning Star Development, was rescued after intelligence showed he was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, according to the U.S. military.
One of the rescuers, an American man, was killed during the operation, the White House said in a brief statement on Sunday night. The statement gave no other specifics, except to describe the man as “one of our special operators.”
The mission that rescued an American citizen “was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops” show every day, Obama said.
“Tragically, we lost one of our special operators in this effort. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, just as we must always honor our troops and military families,” he said in a statement.
In a separate statement Sunday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld.”
Morning Star, a relief group that helps rebuild communities in Afghanistan, said in a statement that Joseph was uninjured and would probably return home in a few days. The group also said two of his co-workers were freed by their captors about 11 hours before the rescue, after hours of negotiations were conducted over three days.