23 March 2006

US, British Troops Rescue Hostages (Updated)

According to Reuters, US led forces today rescued three Christian peace activists who have been held hostage in Iraq since November. The body of one of the original 4 hostages, American Tom Fox, was found two weeks ago. He had been tortured before being murdered.

Rescued were Canadians Jim Loney, 41, and Harmeet Sooden, 32, and Britian Norman Kember, 74, from the group Christian Peacemaker Teams.

In a statement on the CPT website, the hostages are referred to as having been "safely released", with no mention of the rescue operation.

Well, if the freed hostages and the CPT won't do it, then we will: Thank you to the US and British troops who risked their lives to help others. Well done and congratulations on a successful operation.

But we're not surprised. We know you guys and what you're made of, we meet you all the time.

h/t Michelle Malkin

Update: From the Multi-National Force – Iraq release.

Sgt. Daniel Feria of the 101 st Airborne Division provides security while his team completes an area engagement south of Baghdad during operation Glory Light on Wednesday. An operation today released three people being held hostage by terrorists.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Karl Johnson, 363 MPAD)

“We detained two suspects this morning, the detainees gave us intelligence that led us to the rescue of the three hostages,” Lynch said during an afternoon press conference. The hostages were rescued only three hours after Coalition Forces received the intelligence, Lynch said.

In that time, the troops determined the intelligence was credible then planned and executed the mission, he added.

Lynch would not go into great detail because he did want to reveal any information that might jeopardize future rescues.

Update 2: A belated thank you on the CPT.org site, from Leaning Straight Up:

23 March 2006, 9 p.m. ET

We have been so overwhelmed and overjoyed to have Jim, Harmeet and Norman freed, that we have not adequately thanked the people involved with freeing them, nor remembered those still in captivity. So we offer these paragraphs as the first of several addenda:

We are grateful to the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman and Harmeet. As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues. We are thankful to all the people who gave of themselves sacrificially to free Jim, Norman, Harmeet and Tom over the last four months, and those supporters who prayed and wept for our brothers in captivity, for their loved ones and for us, their co-workers.

We will continue to lift Jill Carroll up in our prayers for her safe return. In addition, we will continue to advocate for the human rights of Iraqi detainees and assert their right to due process in a just legal system.

I guess a belated thank you mixed with comments about their commitment to nonviolence (if the rescuing soldiers had needed to fire shots, would they still be thankful?) and the human rights of Iraqi detainees is better than none.

And don't miss the report at Freedom Folks on the moonbatty CPT celebration of the hostages' "release".

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