US and Afghan forces have rescued an American doctor who was allegedly kidnapped in eastern Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Pakistani officials claim a US drone strike has killed at least three militants near the Afghan border.
The rescue mission was launched when intelligence showed that Dr. Dilip Joseph was in "imminent danger of injury or death," NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
Joseph was abducted on December 5 by Taliban insurgents in the Surobi district of Kabul province. A security source told the news agency AFP that Joseph had been involved in building clinics in Afghanistan but details of his capture were not immediately available.
"Today's mission exemplifies our unwavering commitment to defeating the Taliban," said General John Allen, the commander of US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
"I'm proud of the American and Afghan forces that planned, rehearsed and successfully conducted this operation. Thanks to them, Dr. Joseph will soon be rejoining his family and loved ones."
Joseph was now "undergoing evaluations," the ISAF statement said, without giving further details.
At least seven Taliban insurgents were killed in the pre-dawn raid, according to an official.
Meanwhile, Pakistani intelligence officials on Sunday said a US drone strike killed three suspected militants near the Afghan border.
The two officials say several missiles struck a residential compound Sunday morning near Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region.
North Waziristan has been a frequent target of US missile strikes as the region is home to a mix of insurgents from Pakistan, Afghanistan and al Qaida-linked foreign militant groups.
Pakistan publically protests the unmanned aerial strikes, although officials say Islamabad has secretly supported the program.
hc/sej (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)