By Staff Writer and agency reports
US Special Forces who last year ended the murderous reign of Osama Bin laden, have been busy once again. On the orders of Commander-in-Chief of US Forces, President Barack Obama, Team Six of US Navy Seals last Wednesday paid a visit to the Somali badlands in an early morning operation to free two aid workers who had been held in Somalia since March this year after being kidnapped by Somali pirates.
At least nine Somali pirates are believed to have lost their lives after two teams of US Navy Seals landed deep inside Somalia using two stealth helicopters similar to the ones they used to land on top of Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan. The pirates made a mistake of daring to enter combat with the world’s most elite Special Forces and after a brief gun battle, eight of them were left dead and the Seals freed the aid workers, American Jessica Buchanan and her Danish colleague Poul Hagen Thisted.
According to a report by the American news network NBC News, President Obama had secretly authorised the rescue operation two on Monday, putting at risk his own re-election campaign had the operation gone wrong. The Danish refugee Council that employs the two aid workers confirmed that Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted were rescued early on Wednesday.
As soon as the Navy Seals announced ‘mission accomplished’, President Obama picked up the phone and told the father of Buchanan that his daughter was safe and on her way home. Mohamed Hussein, a military official in Somalia’s Galmudug region, told Reuters the hostages were freed after an operation involving US military helicopters.
President Obama’s decision to risk his political future at such a critical time during election year was forced upon him after being told that Ms Buchanan had fallen seriously ill after suffering a kidney infection. Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal told Denmark’s TV 2 News this case was special: “We are dealing with one of the hostages having an illness which is very serious, and this is the reason a decision was made to go in and take action. We cannot conclude… that it is something that will be done in future cases.”
Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Thisted, 60, had been held since October 25, when they were abducted in Galkayo, central Somalia, after they visited humanitarian projects, said the Danish Refugee Council, the agency for which they worked. It said both their workers were unharmed and at a safe location. Media reports said they had been flown to neighbouring Djibouti, home to the only US military base in Africa and France’s largest base on the continent.