By: Newsmax Wires
A US Navy SEAL was killed in Sunday’s rescue mission in Afghanistan that freed an American doctor kidnapped by the Taliban, the White House said.
“Our special operators in Afghanistan rescued an American citizen in a mission that was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops show every day,” the White House said in a statement.
“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.”
Dr. Dilip Joseph, the U.S. citizen rescued on Sunday, was abducted on Wednesday in the Sarobi district of Afghanistan’s Kabul province, according to NATO-led forces.
It was not known how the SEAL was killed or if anyone was injured during the rescue mission.
U.S. General John Allen, commander of NATO-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, said he ordered the mission in eastern Afghanistan when intelligence showed that Joseph was “in imminent danger of injury or death.”
“The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy’s grip,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement released by the Pentagon.
“They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night.”
President Barack Obama praised special operations forces, including the one who was killed in action.
Obama says the mission was characteristic of U.S. troops’ “extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism.”
In a separate statement, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the “fallen hero, and all of our special operators” represent the “highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service.”
Dr. Dilip Joseph was freed 11 hours after his captors released two other kidnapped staffers of his nonprofit agency, Morning Star Development, the organization said Sunday, and CNN reported.
A U.S. official told CNN that the service member who died was part of the Navy’s SEAL Team Six. The elite unit is the same one that took part in the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
It was unclear exactly who kidnapped Joseph and his staff members but the U.S. believes it was Taliban insurgents.
The kidnapping of Joseph and the two others happened late afternoon on Wednesday, after the three were returning from a rural medical clinic.
“They were stopped and captured while driving, by a group of armed men,” according to Morningstar, which sponsors community and economic initiatives in Afghanistan.