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US doctor rescued from Taliban in Afghanistan

KABUL — An American doctor kidnapped by the Taliban was rescued Sunday by Afghan and coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, officials said. At least six people were killed and two Taliban leaders were arrested during the rescue.

The American, Dilip Joseph, and two Afghan doctors were abducted Wednesday as they traveled to a clinic in the Sorobi District of eastern Afghanistan, about an hour outside of the capital, Kabul, said the district police chief, Naqeebullah Khan.

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The rescue took place early Sunday in Laghman Province after coalition officials received reports that the doctor was in imminent danger of injury or death. It is unclear whether any Afghan or coalition forces were injured during the rescue.

Joseph is a medical adviser for Morningstar Development, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado that focuses on economic and community development in Afghanistan. He lives in Colorado Springs.

Kidnappings of government officials and Westerners are a common source of money for criminal organizations as well as the Taliban. In many cases, people kidnapped by the Taliban are taken across the border to Pakistan, where it becomes extremely difficult to track them.

In the case of Joseph, the kidnappers were believed to have been demanding a $100,000 ransom.

The abductions occurred about 25 miles from a stretch of highway heading east from the capital toward Jalalabad. The highway itself is considered safe during the day, but travel is much more dangerous in the areas off the main road.

New York Times

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