Kabul, Afghanistan (4E) – U.S. and Afghan forces on Saturday rescued an American doctor from kidnappers who seized him and two other aid workers outside Kabul last week, according to International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF).
Dr. Dilip Joseph of the U.S. non-profit group Morning Star Development (MSD) was unharmed during the rescue mission in Lagham province that reportedly killed seven of his captors. Gen. John Allen, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, ordered the rescue of the Colorado Springs doctor because he was in imminent danger.
Joseph was taken to the Bagram air base north of the capital and is being prepared for his flight home to be reunited with his family.
The MSD issued a statement thanking the rescuers of Joseph. It said no ransom was paid to the kidnappers though the family of the Afghan doctor who was taken hostage together with Joseph and another local working for MSD reportedly paid $12,000, tribal leader Malik Samad and district chief Muhammad Haqbeen said. The two other kidnapped MSD workers were released also on Saturday after negotiations with the kidnappers.
Samad and Haqbeen said the driver and engineer working for the MSD doctors were arrested on suspicion of being in cahoots with the kidnappers.
Joseph and his companions were returning from a rural medical clinic when armed men stopped their car and seized them at gunpoint near the village of Jegdalek in Sarobi. The kidnappers then took them to a mountainous area 50 miles from the border with Pakistan.
Afghan, American and MSD officials immediately started negotiation for their release after learning of the incident.