American doctor rescued from Taliban, US-led coalition says

An American doctor abducted by the Taliban five days ago was rescued Sunday in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led military coalition said.

Dr. Dilip Joseph, along with an Afghan doctor and driver, were captured by Taliban insurgents Wednesday outside the Afghan capital, in the Sarobi district of Kabul province, according to a Stars and Stripes report.

Joseph, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was returning from a visit to a medical clinic he had been overseeing when he was captured, according to a press release issued by his employer, Morning Star Development, a Colorado-based non-governmental organization.

He was rescued in an early morning operation, which was ordered when intelligence showed that Joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death.

The Afghan doctor and driver were reportedly released before the raid and taken to a police station, according to the Morning Star and Stars and Stripes reports. Their identities were not released.

Joseph has worked for Morning Star for three years and has been serving as a medical adviser, traveling frequently to Afghanistan, the organization's news release states.

President Barack Obama praised 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 said the mission was characteristic of U.S. troops' "extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism."

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."

Following the rescue operation, Joseph was transported to Bagram Airfield north of Kabul, where he was reported to be in good condition, according to Morning Star.

"This was a combined operation of U.S. and Afghan forces," said 1st Lt. Joseph Alonso, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. "Information was collected through multiple intelligence sources, which allowed Afghan and coalition forces to identify the location of Joseph and the criminals responsible for his captivity."

"Today's mission exemplifies our unwavering commitment to defeating the Taliban," Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said in a statement.  "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 is expected to receive precautionary examinations and a debriefing before returning to Colorado Springs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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