By Shannon Corrigan
During a U.S. Military raid in the Somali village of Galkayo, troops rescued a U.S. aid worker and her Danish colleague, after months of imprisonment.
On October 25, Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted, the Danish aid worker, were kidnapped by two truckloads of gunmen as they headed to the airport in Galkayo. Both were working for the Danish Refugee Council, one of the few Western organization still operating in the after. As they finished up a workshop on land mines, they were kidnapped reported the New York Times.
The New York Times reports that the pirates have held hostages for months, often in punishing condition with little food, water or shelter, and past ransoms have topped more than $10 million.
After receiving "actionable intelligence" that Buchanan's health was quickly deteriorating, American officials said they were moved to strike "The gunmen had just refused $1.5 million to let the two hostages go, Somali elders said, and ransom negotiations had ground to a halt," the New York Times reports.
U.S. Special operations forces parachuted into Somalia Wednesday morning, and then advanced on foot to where the gunmen were holding Buchanan and Thisted hostage. The nine gunmen holding the hostages were killed, officials said CNN reports.
"For the American military, the mission was characterized by the same ruthless efficiency--and possible good luck--as the raid on Osama bin Laden in May, which was carried out by commandos from the same elite unit" The New York Times reports.
Pentagon officials said President Obama had personally approved the rescue plan and raid, and called several meetings on the case since the two aid workers were kidnapped. "As commander in chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission" President Obama said in a statement on Wednesday the New York Times reports.
"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," Obama said. "This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people" CNN reports.