25 January 2012

US Raid in Somalia Rescues 2 Hostages

A night time raid in Somalia has successfully freed 2 hostages.

U.S. Special Forces troops flew into Somalia on a nighttime helicopter raid early Wednesday, freed an American and a Danish hostage and killed nine of the kidnappers in a mission that President Barack Obama said he personally authorized.
The Danish Refugee Council confirmed that the two aid workers, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagen Thisted, were freed and "are on their way to be reunited with their families."
The raiders came in very quickly, catching the guards as they were sleeping after having chewed the narcotic leaf qat for much of the evening, a pirate who gave his name as Bile Hussein told The Associated Press by phone. Hussein said he was not present at the site but had spoken with other pirates who were, and that they told him nine pirates had been killed in the raid and three were missing.
A second pirate who gave his name as Ahmed Hashi said two helicopters attacked at about 2 a.m. about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Somali town of Adado where the hostages were being held.


Here's Secretary Panetta's statement on the raid.

Last night U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted, by order of the President of the United States, a successful mission in Somalia to rescue two individuals taken hostage on October 25, 2011. Ms. Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen employed by the Danish Demining Group, and her Danish colleague, Mr. Poul Thisted, were kidnapped at gunpoint by criminal suspects near Galcayo, Somalia.

Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted have been transported to a safe location where we will evaluate their health and make arrangements for them to return home.

This successful hostage rescue, undertaken in a hostile environment, is a testament to the superb skills of courageous service members who risked their lives to save others. I applaud their efforts, and I am pleased that Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted were not harmed during the operation. This mission demonstrates our military's commitment to the safety of our fellow citizens wherever they may be around the world.

I am grateful to report that there was no loss of life or injuries to our personnel.

I express my deepest gratitude to all the military and civilian men and women who supported this operation. This was a team effort and required close coordination, especially between the Department of Defense and our colleagues in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are heroes and continue to inspire all of us by their bravery and service to our nation.

By: Brant

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