In a daring rescue operation, elite American commandos have rescued an Indian-American doctor who was in the custody of the Taliban in Afghanistan, losing one Navy SEAL and killing seven insurgents.
Colorado-based Dilip Joseph had been abducted on December 5 along with two Afghan colleagues as they left a rural medical clinic in Sorobi district in Kabul province.
He was rescued in an early Sunday morning operation ordered after intelligence showed that the doctor was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, according to a statement.
"This was a combined operation of the US and Afghan forces," said 1st Lt Joseph Alonso, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan.
"Information was collected through multiple intelligence sources, which allowed Afghan and coalition forces to identify the location of Joseph and the criminals responsible for his captivity."
General John Allen, the top commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said the joint force planned, rehearsed and successfully conducted the operation.
President Barack Obama and his Defence Secretary Leon Panetta praised the special forces for conducting a successful rescue operation. The mission that rescued an American citizen 'was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops' show every day, Obama said.
"Tragically, we lost one of our special operators in this effort. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, just as we must always honor our troops and military families," he said in a statement.
Panetta also commended the US special operations team who rescued American citizen captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
"I was deeply saddened to learn that a US service member was killed in the operation, and I also want to extend my condolences to his family, teammates and friends. The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy's grip," Panetta said in a separate statement.