US forces in Afghanistan attempted to rescue two hostages last month, the Pentagon said on Thursday, but were unable to locate the two captives, who were professors from the American University of .
“President Obama authorized US forces to conduct a mission in Afghanistan, aimed at recovering two civilian hostages,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the hostages were not at the location we suspected. During the mission, US forces engaged and killed a number of hostile forces. No US personnel or civilians were harmed.”
Two professors – one American, the other Australian – , as gunmen wearing police uniforms smashed the passenger window and hauled them away.
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According to Fox News, which first reported the mission citing unnamed defense officials, the operation occurred a few days after the kidnapping.
The White House had scrapped a mission planned a day earlier because of differing assessments from intelligence agencies.
When the assault on a compound believed to house the hostages eventually occurred, they were not there, but seven enemy fighters were killed, Fox reported.
“Military hostage-rescue operations are inherently sensitive and dangerous and careful deliberation went into this mission,” Cook said.
“The United States military remains fully prepared to take extraordinary steps to protect American citizens anywhere in the world.”
Several weeks after the abduction, on 24 August when militants stormed the facility in an incident that left 16 people dead.