More than three months after being taken hostage by the Taliban in early August, the two Americans: Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, plus six other Western aid workers were flown from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The eight aid workers — four Germans, two Americans and two Australians — are members of Shelter Now International, a German relief agency that provided food and homes to the poor of Afghanistan. They had been held prisoners by the Taliban on charges of preaching Christianity.
The rescue apparently involved both the US military and the International Red Cross. The aid workers were taken out of Afghanistan around 4:40 p.m. EST (2:40 a.m. Thursday in Afghanistan) by three U.S. Special Operations helicopters.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued a written statement saying the three helicopters landed in a field in eastern Afghanistan about 90 miles southwest of Kabul. “The detainees are now in Pakistan and appear to be in good condition,” Rumsfeld said in the statement.
Dayna Curry’s stepfather, Jim Cassell, told CNN that this was the most exciting day of his life. “I’m so ecstatic, I don’t have the words to say,” he said. “The prayer has really brought her into this situation (the release), and got her out of the hands and clutches of the Taliban, those evil people over there.”
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