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U.S. official: SEAL team in rescue in Somalia also killed bin Laden


bildeMogadishu, Somalia— Held Captive since last fall, an ailing

 

 

 

American woman and a Danish Man were safely on their way –

 

 

home after a bold, dark-of-night rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs.

 

 

 

The commandos slipped into a Somali encampment early Wednesday, shot and killed nine captors and whisked the hostages to freedom.

Jessica Buchanan, a 32-year-old American, and Poul Hagen Thisted, a 60-year-old Dane, had been kidnapped in October in the central Somali town of Galkayo, which until then had been considered relatively safe for Westerners.

Buchanan was a student leader at Valley Forge Christian College in suburban Philadelphia and the two had been working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when captured.

The raid’s success was welcome news for the hostages and their families, for the military and for President Barack Obama, who was delivering his State of the Union speech as the mission wrapped up. He did not mention it in his address but dropped a hint upon arriving in the House chamber by telling Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, "Good job tonight." It was the second splashy SEAL Team 6 success in less than a year, following May’s killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

The SEALs encountered some degree of resistance from the kidnappers at the encampment, two U.S. officials said, and there was a firefight during an approximately 1- to 11/2-hour operation.

The Pentagon was mostly tight-lipped about details on Wednesday, citing a need to preserve the secrecy that can give SEALs and other special operations forces an edge against the terrorists, criminals and others they are ordered to kill or capture around the world under hazardous and often hostile conditions.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said the decision to go ahead with the rescue was prompted, in part, by rising concern about the medical condition of Buchanan. He said he could not be specific without violating her privacy.

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