WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. service member was killed in Sunday’s rescue mission in Afghanistan that freed an American doctor kidnapped by the Taliban, the White House said.
“Our special operators in Afghanistan rescued an American citizen in a mission that was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops show every day,” the White House said in a statement.
“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 honour our troops and military families.”
Dr. Dilip Joseph, the U.S. citizen rescued on Sunday, was abducted on Wednesday in the Sarobi district of Afghanistan’s Kabul province, according to NATO-led forces.
It was not known how the U.S. service member was killed or if anyone was injured during the rescue mission.
U.S. General John Allen, commander of NATO-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, said he ordered the mission in eastern Afghanistan when intelligence showed that Joseph was “in imminent danger of injury or death.”
“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,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement released by the Pentagon.
“They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night.”
Reporting by Phil Stewart and Paul Eckert; editing Christopher Wilson