The same Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden rescued two hostages, one of whom is an American citizen, from kidnappers in Somalia in a raid Tuesday night.
American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were kidnapped by “heavily armed common criminals” while working with a Danish demining group near Galcayo, Somalia, on Oct. 25, according to a statement from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.
The Associated Press said that the team landed by helicopter near the compound where the two were held and approached the compound under heavy gunfire. Several of the kidnappers were reportedly killed; there was no word that any members of the SEAL team were wounded at the time of this report.
“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,” Panetta said in the statement. “I applaud their efforts, and I am pleased that Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted were not harmed during the operation.”
President Barack Obama said in a statement, the mission is “yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people.”