A member of SEAL Team 6 — the famed Navy special forces unit that killed Osama bin Laden — has been killed while saving the life of an American civilian.
CBS reports that "seven alleged Taliban militants were killed" in the raid on Sunday morning, December 9 (local time).
The successful operation freed Dr. Dilip Joseph (above) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, an adviser for Morning Star Development, who was captured on Wednesday and believed to be in immediate danger.
Two co-workers also were captured Wednesday, but Morning Star reported they were freed 11 hours prior to Joseph's rescue after negotiations with the captors.
Both President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made statements lauding the fallen SEAL's heroic service. His name has not been released.
Morning Star posted this press release on its website:
MORNING STAR STAFF FREED FROM CAPTIVITY IN AFGHANISTAN!
December 8, 2012; 7:30pm CST
At approximately 4:30pm MST on December 8, 2012, Morning Star Development confirmed that the third and final member of a Morning Star staff team had been freed from captivity after being kidnapped at about 3:30pm local (Afghanistan) time on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. This third member, Mr. Joseph of Colorado Springs, CO, was successfully rescued from his captors by members of the United States armed forces. The other two members had been released by their captors about 11 hours earlier following hours of negotiations conducted over three days.
The three staff members were abducted while returning from a visit to one of our rural medical clinics in eastern Kabul Province. They were stopped and captured while driving, by a group of armed men. They were eventually taken to a mountainous area about 50 miles from the Pakistan border.
Contact between the hostages, their captors, and Morning Star’s crisis management team (operating from Kabul and Colorado Springs) began almost immediately and continued in an on-again, off-again pattern until early Saturday evening (Afghanistan time). It was at about that time that the captors released two of the three hostages. These two hostages are national staff members of Morning Star Development. One is a member of the organization’s medical staff and the other is a member of the organization’s support staff. Because these two men live and work in the general region of the event, Morning Star will not disclose their identities. After being released, both men made their way out of the area and were eventually taken to a police station, where Morning Star and their families were informed of their release.
Mr. Joseph remained in the custody of his kidnappers after his colleagues were released. Later that night, United States military forces rescued Mr. Joseph. He was then taken to Bagram Airfield north of Kabul. Although he was reported to be in good condition and uninjured during the rescue, he will receive precautionary examinations and debriefing before returning to his Colorado Springs home, probably within a few days. His family was notified of his safe rescue very shortly after he was freed.
Mr. Joseph has worked with Morning Star Development for three years. He serves as our Medical Advisor and he travels frequently to Afghanistan.
Morning Star Development is grateful beyond words for the assistance and support of many people and organizations during this event. Due to security concerns, some cannot be named but their help will never be forgotten. Among these who cannot be named we include all of the courageous members of the U.S. military who successfully rescued Mr. Joseph as they risked their own lives doing so.
Those we can express public appreciation to include:
Countless local Afghan residents of the communities served by Morning Star’s Community Center who assisted in the resolution of this event; including those elders and local leaders who made visits and appeals to the captors advocating for the release of the hostages.
All of the members of the various agencies of the United States government, at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, other locations in Afghanistan and in the U.S., who gave timely, professional and compassionate assistance.
Afghan authorities who provided information and support both to the crisis management team and to the U.S. government in this matter.
Members of partner agencies in Afghanistan and around the world who offered counsel, support and prayers during this event.
Our own staff in Afghanistan and the U.S. This dedicated team extended grace, support and assistance even as they continued to provide vital services to the people of Afghanistan.
Due to the volatile security environment in Afghanistan and Morning Star’s commitment to continue its work in the country, no further information about this event will be released by our organization. All inquiries concerning the rescue of Mr. Joseph should be directed to the appropriate agencies of the United States government.
Morning Star Development does state categorically that we paid no ransom, money or other consideration to the captors or anyone else to secure the release of these hostages.
Questions can be directed to Lars Peterson, Morning Star Development Executive Director.