President Obama has praised a U.S. serviceman killed during a hostage rescue in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is praising U.S. special operations forces, including one who was killed in action, for the rescue of an American citizen who was being held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Obama says the mission was characteristic of U.S. troops' "extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism."
A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said Dr. Dilip Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo., was rescued Sunday in eastern Afghanistan. Joseph was abducted by the Taliban five days earlier.
In a separate statement, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the "fallen hero, and all of our special operators" represent the "highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service."
Joseph was rescued in an early morning operation ordered after intelligence showed that the doctor was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, according to a statement.
Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said American and Afghan forces planned, rehearsed and successfully conducted the operation.
"Thanks to them, Dr. Joseph will soon be rejoining his family and loved ones," Allen said.
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