On Monday, the United States Defense Department identified the United States Navy Seal who was killed during a successful raid that freed a hostage doctor in Afghanistan. Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque died Saturday morning as a result of his effort to save and free Dr. Dilip Joseph, who, according to NATO commaders, was believed to be in impending danger from his captors in the midst of when the raid took place. A U.S. official has been quoted as saying that Checque was a member of the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as Navy Seal Team Six. Navy Seal Team Six, as many may remember, is the same unit that was responsible for the raid that killed Al Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden. Armed men, who were believed to be smugglers, kidnapped the doctor and two other staff members of the international aid group Morning Star on Wednesday. The doctor and the two staff members were returning from a rural medical clinic in the eastern Kabul province when they were attacked and abducted. According to the Morning Star, hostage negotiations began "almost immediately" with the abductors and continued on and off into Saturday night, when two of the three captives were released. Tribal leader Malik Samad and district chief Muhammad Haqbeen said that the Afghan doctor's family paid $12,000 to the smugglers (the International Security Assistant Force believed these men were Taliban insurgents, not smugglers). However, the Morning Star denied paying any "ransom, money or other consideration" to win the release of its employees. The raid to free Dr. Dilip Joseph didn't occur until 11 hours after the two staffers were freed. President Obama and the Morning Star both extended their condolences to the slain Nicolas D. Checque's family. Despite these attacks and abductions, the Morning Star "reiterated its commitment to continue its work" in Afghanistan.

Catherine Soltesz
12/14/2012 08:22:14 am

Nicolas D. Checque was a very brave man. He gave his life for others. Afghanistan is a very dangerous place for Americans to be. You never know what the Taliban and radical Islamists are going to do. They place little value upon human life.


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