US forces free American, Danish hostages

2012-01-25 08:58

Mogadishu - US military forces flew in helicopters under the cover of darkness on a raid into Somalia early Wednesday and freed an American and a Dane held hostage, Western officials said.

Pirates reported a gun battle with several casualties.

The Danish Refugee Council confirmed that hostages Jessica Buchanan - an American - and Poul Hagan Thisted - a Dane - were freed "during an operation in Somalia".

An official told AP that the raid was carried out by US military forces.

A second official said the helicopters and the hostages landed at a US base in the tiny East African nation of Djibouti after the raid. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been released publicly.

Major Kelly Cahalan, a military spokesperson at U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said she had no information on the reported raid. A spokesperson at the Pentagon had no immediate comment.

The two hostages had been held in Somalia since October. The Danish Refugee Council said both are unharmed "and at a safe location".

A pirate who gave his name as Bilal Hussein said he had spoken to pirates at the scene of the raid and they reported that nine pirates had been killed.

A second pirate who gave his name as Ahmed Hashi said two helicopters attacked at about 02:00 at the site where the hostages were being held about 20km north of the Somali town of Adow.

  • Tyrone - 2012-01-25 09:17

    Somalia actually has tons of un-explored oil off its coast line. Maybe America should take to liberating a anarchist country for the good of the east african coast line. It will be a lot safer for us off-shore passing to and fro from this teritory. Also for the tourism in Kenya and Tanzania that is suffering due to these pirate raids and attacks on innocent civilians

      Mark - 2012-01-25 10:37

      Why must we expect the US to liberate Somalia, shouldn't we expect our African Union to sort this out? Okay maybe not. ;)

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 10:42

      With its limited resources, the AU has done prettly well regarding Somalia.

      Sandra - 2012-01-25 11:06

      absolutely - live by the sword die by the sword!

      Warren - 2012-01-25 13:48

      @ Mthuthuzeli: "With its limited resources, the AU has done prettly well regarding Somalia." what you're actually trying to say is that the AU have done sweet blow F#%* ALL? Pretty much what they usually do!

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-01-25 09:18

    Well done to them, after the hiding they got the last time they tried something in Somolia those US forces must have been pooping themselves!!

  • Chris - 2012-01-25 09:19

    It sounds like an outstanding operation .... brilliant work

      Hugh - 2012-01-25 10:19

      Wish our government had the balls.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-25 10:39

      I support that. Professional operation, both hostages unharmed. Great work US - and a couple of pirates got snuffed out as well, which can only be a bonus.

      Larry - 2012-01-25 11:39

      Yep, should be more of them.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-01-25 09:22

    WTF is wrong with you guys...these soldiers did an extremely heroic thing and you moan about it?! Good on ya USA!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-01-25 09:33

      @Louis, people on here moan that their nails grow...

      Leon - 2012-01-25 09:46

      Great stuff boys

      America - 2012-01-25 09:54

      Awesome statement!! God Bless You :)

      J-Man - 2012-01-25 09:55


      aardvarkie - 2012-01-25 10:25

      Agreed! Just wish SA did the same for our South African hostages :-/

      thozi - 2012-01-25 11:57

      Very correct, bravo Americans. Maybe we could ask SA (SADF) to mount an operation that would free all South Africans from the clutches of the Nigerian drug peddlars - or is it too much a risk seeing that the SAPS stick their heads in the sand at the mere mention of a Nigerian?

  • Sean - 2012-01-25 09:23

    Now I suppose the South African hostage being held there will ONLY be rescued if there happens to be an American with her

      Francisco - 2012-01-25 09:37

      Every one puts America down, but when is time to beg you all know where to go don’t you?

      Bibi - 2012-01-25 10:02

      Why can't the SA Defence force rescue the South Africans. They dwiddle their thumbs anyway. @FRANCISCO I agree, it is easy to sit in SA and be critical - the USA and UK are the biggest contributors of aid in all forms to Africa. Billions of dollars and pounds are being wasted on Africa each year. While the West was already distributing food in somalia, the AU has'nt even had a meeting on the famine (last year) yet. Where I live 45 million pounds disappeared that was earmarked for primary education - kindly donated by the wicked West.

      Sean - 2012-01-25 10:08

      America has done nothing for South Africa. NOTHING NADA ZIP! So dont start he begging bowl here.In fact,your moralistic,hypocritical,self serving fat cats are remarkably silent about the genocide that is taking place in South Africa. If America had 4000 farmers murderd in 15 years,there would be a major outcry. But because its South African farmers,they say squat.

      Adrian - 2012-01-25 10:09

      No, we are waiting for the arrival of our Aircraft Carrier the SAS "Zuma" to effect the rescue....:-)

      werner.smidt - 2012-01-25 10:21

      Why don't you put your theory to the test? ;-)

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-25 10:28

      I don't want to get into a pissing contest but USA and UK are pretty much responsible for a lot of damage done to Africa, mostly through corporate exploitation but also through war. I suggest you do some homework - your bragging rights have been suspended until such time ;-)

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-25 10:29

      (That was meant for Francisco)

      Bibi - 2012-01-25 10:40

      @Sean America owes SA nothing, but however it is public knowledge that they have given SA loans to the tune of billions of dollars, they have an extensive AIDS and malaria programme funded by THE TERRIBLE AMERICANS, they fund NGO's and the list goes on. Where is the AU when the farmers get murdered.

      Bibi - 2012-01-25 10:46

      @Aardvarkie do yourself a favour and read The Scramble for Africa (Pakenham)Easy to blame USA and UK. What about the Dutch, Portugese, Italians, Arabs. Most countries have been independant for more than 40 years and nothing much have happened after that.

      Hugh - 2012-01-25 10:53

      Sean, our government is bed-pals with these guys, why would they save SA citizens when it could jeopardize their sensitive negotiations to self enrichment? With friends like Kadaffie, Castro, Bashar al-Assad, Ahmedinejad, Mugabe, Hu Jintao etc? Remember our enemies are everything West like the USA, England and so on.

      eric.vanvuuren - 2012-01-25 16:09

      @ Francisco - We will leave the begging to you old chop.

      Michael - 2012-01-26 13:47

      @Sean - Amercia(read USA) has done nothing for S.A.?? Say again? Do you actually know what you are smoking! It obviously shows what a nerd and unschooled jerk you are!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-25 09:25

    Good work for once, Somalia has no recognizable government and the continued terrorist actions of Somalians make their waters a criminal feasting ground. I have always maintained that these pirates must not be negotiated with. and once they realize that taking hostages will only result in a military "with extreme prejudice" reaction they will stop doing it.

  • Gideon - 2012-01-25 09:35

    Well done to the Spec Ops! Another pirate gets it, thumbs up.

  • Josh - 2012-01-25 09:37

    Wow guys, do you think we could use these forums as a place of constructive crit rather than a platform to showcase ignorance and racism. This article is about human hostages being rescued from a horrible ordeal. Good news, please don't ruin it by spitting poison on everything you read. Why do South African's make everything so damn ugly?

  • gertwhessoe - 2012-01-25 09:38

    Send Zuma`s 3 planes for the South African

  • Mahomed Dawjee - 2012-01-25 09:39

    Good to see the us military actually doing good

      Bernard Mhunduru - 2012-01-25 10:25

      Thanks to American special forces for valuing their citizens,South African forces need to act like wise to rescue one of their own.

      Michael - 2012-01-26 13:53

      So where did the USA military do bad? Except when they do things for the betterment of mankind in general. They don't only think of themselves - but to the future of a free world and of good thinking people. I for one do not particulary like the Yanks but boy can they get a job done! I admire them for that!

  • Bouts - 2012-01-25 09:39

    I hope Zim is not far down the list !!!!!!!!!!!

      Michael - 2012-01-26 13:53

      There are no USA hostages in Zim!

  • brad.norval - 2012-01-25 09:42

    KILL 'EM ALL! Live like a pirate die like a pirate

  • Vegi - 2012-01-25 09:43

    I am delighted at the release of the innocent people. However, I wonder if they know that they came to grief because of the actions of Barack "Adolf" Obama. Mr Obama, how does it feel to shed so much blood within such a short space of time.

      the_gob - 2012-01-25 10:20

      Are you an idiot or do you just pretend to be one?

      Bibi - 2012-01-25 11:18

      Are you talking about the dead pirates...

      Michael - 2012-01-26 13:54

      Vegi - go sit in the sun and hatch!

  • Ian - 2012-01-25 09:45

    Good job, give the boys a triple bells

  • America - 2012-01-25 09:50

    You're a JERK Sean!!!!!

      Ivan - 2012-01-25 17:02

      Sean, please explain the difference between your definition of an american voter and a south african. They seem pretty much the same to me if your definition is to be believed. Fact is the US does a lot more to help out its citizens than the South African government. That is what this article describes nothing more nothing less.

  • gouws2 - 2012-01-25 09:52

    U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! Man when I get taken hostage one day pleeeeeaaaassssseee let it be with a french, english or american hostage. THe company is gona suck but maaaannnn is my butt gona get rescued!

  • Andre - 2012-01-25 09:53

    Awesome America! Now what about SA freeing our yacht-couple? Probably zero chance.

  • Andre - 2012-01-25 09:59

    The government motivation may be what it is - but to the soldiers that did the operation - BRILLIANTLY done ...

  • Jackky - 2012-01-25 10:05

    jacob zuma should learn from good examples.america is ready to go to any length to secure an American's freedom....Anton Hammerl was held in lybia by Gaddafi forces for months b4 he was killed,all plea made to zuma to secure his freedom fell on deaf ear,instead he was proposing a safe heaven for Gaddafi in south africa.

      Jaba - 2012-01-25 10:28

      agree. Anton's story is still fresh. may he rest in peace

      America - 2012-01-25 10:52

      Thanks Jackky! Your great!!

      Dmitri - 2012-01-25 10:55

      Did you not know that zuma was applying his mind to the situation, hence the delay

      Michael - 2012-01-26 14:01

      Jackky - Anton was NOT held for months before he was killed - he was killed on the war front but his where abouts was not made public by the Gaddafi regime on the day he was killed. They kept his death a mystery for their own political ends. You need to get your facts right before splurging on this blog!

  • Derrick - 2012-01-25 10:12

    Why knock the Yanks on this one? I don't see our Recce's swooping down under the cover of darkness to rescue our Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz... Maybe its time this ANC led government tried to install a bit of patriotism among its people and show that our country really gives a flying about its citizens ...

      Brian - 2012-01-25 10:15

      Ya Africa cannot take care of its own problems. Needs the Americans to show them how!

  • Roger.D.Fraser - 2012-01-25 10:13

    Hope the SA government takes note of correct way to hold negotiations with pirates and terrorists that they should also undertake to free the South African sailors being held hostage .

      Brian - 2012-01-25 10:21

      No! We as government must first set up a commission to meet and discuss these issues, like in Libya!! hahaha

      Michael - 2012-01-26 14:04

      @Brian - What you fail to mention is the fact they they will have a huge party and drink plenty of Johnnie Walker Blue. Many cases will be ordered and only one taken in to the negotiating room - the rest get loaded into the boots of the black BMW's - this is true!

  • Penny - 2012-01-25 10:15

    Great, now lets go get our own 2 South African citizens kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Kenya? and the one held hostage by bandits in Niger/ Mali -our Foreign Affairs Dept isnt even faffying about behind the scenes for our own people - disgraceful!

      Michael - 2012-01-26 14:06

      What do you expect? - this is African time! No rush - just drink some JW Blue and negotiate. Remember the month long indaba at Sun City to negotiate the peace/war in the Congo - nothing but a lekka holiday! Eish - for mahala of course!

  • Jaba - 2012-01-25 10:20

    Awesome. Thank you USA

  • the_gob - 2012-01-25 10:24

    Another successful operation by Seal Team 16 (Bravo 6). Well done boys. Hurrah. No place for terrorists and pirates on our planet. There is only one "good" pirate and that's Jack Sparrow, the rest deserve nothing but lead in their brains!!!

  • Brian - 2012-01-25 10:25

    US military - I stand in awe - nothing more to say.

      America - 2012-01-25 10:49

      You're awesome Brian!!!

  • malcolm - 2012-01-25 10:36

    Sargon,Nope, They have already been embarrassed badly in Somalia. Their marines got well and truly sorted out by common thugs & gangsters in Somalia. It makes me wonder how they got this raid right. Paul also hit the nail on the head. His "conspiracy theory", is far more likely than America ever trying to liberate Somalia. The fact that USA is a greedy country, unable to sustain itself & pay its debt, is no secret, or conspiracy. The fact that they are continually bombarding oil rich countries, speaks for itself. Its blatantly obvious.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 10:46

      Well said Malcolm!

      America - 2012-01-25 10:50


      Dmitri - 2012-01-25 11:44

      Although I agree in part with what you said, it needs to be explained that the soldiers of the USA are exceptional folks. The issue here is political. In the latter stages of Iraq and Afghanistan, their rules of combat were so pathetic that they basically had to be fired upon or have an IED exlode before they could retaliate. Even the gunships had to contact HQ before they could fire upon the terrs. Basically, they had to get permission to defend themselves. There is a huge difference between the politicians and the brave men on the ground. Just as an addendum. When the US went to rescue their hostages in Iran (cannot recall the year), it turned out to be a disaster, not because of the quality of the troops but faulty intel (They never told the chopper pilots about the approaching sandstorm which took out the choppers). Their first appearance in Somalia was all political and had nothing to do with "defending the poor". Recall it was just prior to elections and they (the politicians) needed to have a good image. General note: All these long range rescues have been copied from the Israeli raid on Entebbe (in 1976 if I recall correctly).

      Ivan - 2012-01-25 17:08

      They were Rangers not marines first off. When you can't get a basic fact right your credibility is shot from the start. They also fought there way out of a hellish situation with a kill ratio of about 200:1. Hardly getting your butt kicked. Hill Billy Clinton lacked the balls to finish the job, the same tiny testicles didn't kill Bin Laden when he was in a Seal Teams sights prior to 911

  • malcolm - 2012-01-25 10:46

    Andre, I have a strong suspicion our famous yacht couple won't ever be found. It wouldn't surprise me if they are sitting on an exotic island somewhere, and that the whole hostage situation is just a scam to help fund their laid back lifestyle. Even Somalies aren't dumb enough to hold a piss willy little yacht hostage, and expect to receive a large ransom from the families of African drifters. What a waste of time & effort for the Somalis.

      Steven van Coller - 2012-01-25 13:01

      I can't believe that a in a day and age like our own, that they allow twats like you to have speach... let alone freedom to speak. you my friend are a worthless little pile of crap. why don't you put your full name up here for us all to see you coward. that's my uncle bruno you claim to be on holiday. a hard working south African, father of two, and grandfather to young Calvin whom he hasn't even met yet. drop me an e-mail my friend, we got a lot to talk about

      Bernard - 2012-01-25 13:05

      Malcolm - I know this family and the terrible trauma that they have been through - how dare you suggest what you have - make sure of your facts before airing your unwanted views - you are just a contemptable a##hole

      Bibi - 2012-01-25 13:12

      I do not know where you live, but certainly no where near the trouble. Your rantings will give the family of these people little comfort. The SA couple is not the first yacht that the pirates have taken. In fact there has been many attempts of jackings around the Seychelles. As you probably know, they recently took a dying French lady in a wheel chair.

      Jennie - 2012-01-26 07:34

      Who the F..k do you think you are making comments like this. You know nothing of Bruno & Debbie or their families. You are an insensitive barstard and I hope you get what’s coming to you. Rather comment on what you know you idiot

      Jackie - 2012-01-27 15:51

      I really wish people would use their head when expressing themselves... fine if you have your opinions but to write such a comment on a life-threatening situation merely on a ''suspicion'' is the dumbest most uncaring thing to do.. Do some research & you'll soon find yourself embarrassed at the fact that you dont think things through. This is my mother & stepfather & you might have tampered with their safety. I beg everyone to think clearly before you comment on this situation which is very real to us, the family! Regardless of how far this comment goes, might not reach the pirates or they might not care.. but there is always that ''maybe'' which i am not willing to risk. This is very real & we need all the help we can get! I want to see my mother & Bruno again. They have been taken from us & held against their will.

  • Sandra - 2012-01-25 11:03

    Good for them!!! What about the 2 SA'ns that have been held for over a year. Dont see our Government doing anything about them. Therse pirates need to be taken out their cancer is spreading all down the coast and putting so many innocent ppl's lives at risk!

  • Brian - 2012-01-25 11:56

    Lots of comments here. Lets use a well known phrase right here: "Context" I would guess most of the spec ops guys that went in probably have seen the movie BHD at some time, right? And the fact that they WENT BACK IN? It takes a special breed of warrior to go right back in and extract those hostages. Highly trainined, highly motivated people. To face that which their fellow operatives faced before. I wonder how many of that caliber exist in any of the forces anywhere in Africa right now? Its not about oil or whatever. It's about doing the right thing which Africa should be doing for itself but can't or rather won't or more likely it's both.

  • Neil Brown - 2012-01-25 15:27

    Was in Somalia when this happened. Worked closely with their organisation in caring for them. The UN talked about release but as usual futile, UN Somalia Security personnel would rather trade Crayfish with Pirates than do their work! Go SEALs!

  • mimohamed1 - 2012-01-25 15:28

    I don't think its a good idea to destroy the income and living of some people coz even piracy is asource of income and it is not fair what US is doing and even the act they have done!

      Bibi - 2012-01-25 16:00

      Where the hell did you creep from. So you think it is OK to be a pirate - steal, murder and kidnap from others to build big fancy houses (sadly in that hellhole of a place but in neighbouring Kenya) and to finance terrorism. You are one sick person. So if I get paid to take out your family it will be OK as it privides me with an income. You are totally insane.

      Michael - 2012-01-26 14:22

      @Bibi - his name says it all - don't even get into a discussion with a creep like More-ham-head!

  • Genie069 - 2012-01-26 08:08

    Malcom, i'm not going to rant about the crap you have texted here on your comment,instead i'm going to remind you of THE THREE FOLD LAW, you "should" be smart enough to know what it is, but if not: What you give out comes back to you 10 times.

      Michael - 2012-01-26 14:26

      Who wrote the 3-fold law? Where do you get it that this is in fact for real? And who ever came up with 10 returns? This is all a load of hogwash - 3 and ten? You must stop watching too many movies and talking it as fact. Rather read a comic!

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