Daring NATO raid rescues 4 kidnapped aid workers
Four hostages working for an international aid group were rescued from a cave in northeastern Afghanistan early Saturday morning by NATO-led forces, according to British and alliance officials
The four, a British and Kenyan women and their two male Afghan colleagues, were reportedly in good condition after being kidnapped on May 22 as they headed to impoverished areas of Badakhshan province on horseback while on a mission for Medair, a charity group based in Switzerland.
The rescue occurred shortly after midnight in a remote forested area reportedly inhabited by smugglers and bandits. The province borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. Abdul Maroof Rasekh, spokesman for the Badakhshan governor, said NATO and Afghan forces worked together on the 5½-hour operation, in which five of the captors were killed. No casualties were reported among the rescuers.
The NATO-led coalition said in a statement that a rescue helicopter approached the area — reportedly after Afghan sources provided information on the whereabouts of the hostages — confirmed the hostages were at the location, secured the area and carried out the rescue of the four in the cave.
The mission reportedly involved U.S. and British special forces who had planned and rehearsed the operation, suggesting they had some intelligence about the location.