U.S. military forces sent helicopters into Somalia in a nighttime raid on Jan. 25, freeing two hostages, an American and a Dane, while killing nine pirates, according to U.S. officials.
Fox News reported that the Danish Refugee Council also confirmed that the two hostages, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagan Thisted, were freed as part of “an operation in Somalia.”
According to the news outlet, the two hostages had been working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when they were kidnapped last October.
President Barack Obama confirmed the operation and rescue, as he noted that the success of the military action represented how the U.S. “will stand strongly against any threats to our people.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also praised the mission.
“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 a statement.
The Associated Press reported that U.S. Navy Seal Team Six, responsible for eliminating Osama bin Laden, parachuted into a remote camp and rescued the two hostages.