When 32-year-old Jessica Buchanan was kidnapped by her Somalian guides in October of 2011, not many believed she or her partner Hagen Thisted, 60, would ever be seen alive again.Working for the Danish Deming Group assisting refugees along Somalia’s war-torn border, Buchanan and Thisted were seized on their way to the Galkayo airport by pirates outraged at the West.
Jim Miklaszewski at NBC reports the pirates demanded ransom for
Photo: Danish Refugee Council
the pair, but negotiations had stalled as the kidnappers were a heavily armed medley of locals rather than any organised group.Haunted by the 1993 debacle in Somalia from which the movie Black Hawk Down is based, the U.S. was reluctant to intervene, knowing that any mistakes would cause outrage in the States and more embarrassment abroad.
Putting aside its concern, and prompted by reports that Buchanan’s health was declining, the Pentagon ordered a rescue mission and sent two helicopters into the Somalian village last night where the pair were being held, and rescued them both.
The SEALs had parachuted in about 60-minutes prior, securing the area and locating the hostages, before the choppers were sent to pick everyone up — including up to nine pirates and as many as five additional hostages.
No U.S. troops were injured and the pair were apparently in good health, before being taken to a “safe location” to reunite with their families.
It’s thought they are currently in Djibouti, where the U.S. has a small base on the coast of the Red Sea and that they will remain there for medical checks before being sent home.
The American people were given their first hint of the rescue during the President’s State of the Union Speech when he pointed to defence Secretary Leon Panetta in the crowd and said, “Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight.” Check out 11 incredible weapons that only the U.S. has >
Check out the ABC video below:
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