Wednesday, January 25, 2012

US Special Ops Team Rescues Two Hostages in Somalia, Kills Nine Kidnappers

Earlier today, members of the elite US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), including members the US Navy's Seal Team 6, rescued a US citizen and a Danish national from captivity in Somalia. The mission also resulted in the deaths of nine kidnappers. Following the mission, the rescuers and hostages were taken by helicopter to a US support base in Djibouti.

Subsequently, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) acknowledged that aid workers Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Thitead, 60, were on their way home. The two were employed by the Danish Demining Group http://www.danishdemininggroup.dk, a Danish NGO which clears mines and unexploded ordnance in conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East. The two were kidnapped in October 2011.

COMMENT: Danish foreign minister Villy Soevndal commended the US rescue operation. Although many Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked group, al-Shabab, has been blamed for kidnapping all foreign hostages being held in Somalia, initial reports suggest that al-Shabab was not involved in the abduction of Buchanan and Thitead.

Several hostages are still being held in Somalia, including British tourist Judith Tebbutt, who was kidnapped in September 2011; two Spanish doctors seized from Kenya and taken to Somalia; and a|US journalist kidnapped just a few days ago.


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