A team of U.S. special forces successfully carried out an overnight operation to rescue two foreign aid workers being held hostage in Somalia. American officials confirm Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Thisted, 60, were freed from a compound guarded by gunmen. Soldiers killed nine gunmen who opened fire. No Americans were killed or wounded.
Buchanan, a U.S. citizen, and Thisted, a Danish national, were not harmed in the raid. They were taken by helicopter to an undisclosed location to be assessed by military doctors. Buchanan and Thisted were working for the Danish Refugee Council’s Deming Group when they were abducted last October in the town of Galkayo.
President Obama gave green light for the raid because Buchanan’s health is failing, according to Vice President Biden. Details on her condition have not been released. “Jessica’s health was failing. They concluded they should go at this time. The president gave the go,” Biden said.
"The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice. This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people,” Obama said in a statement.
According to a U.S. official speaking anonymously, the special forces team that carried out the raid included members from SEAL Team Six, the elite unit that killed Osama bin Laden last May. It is unclear if the same personnel from the bin Laden operation were involved in last night’s rescue.
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