US soldiers killed seven Taliban insurgents in a successful pre-dawn raid to rescue a kidnapped American doctor in eastern Afghanistan yesterday.
The mission was launched when intelligence showed that Dr Dilip Joseph was in "imminent danger of injury or death", Nato's International Security Assistance Force said.
Joseph was abducted on December 5 by Taliban insurgents in the Surobi district of Kabul province. The doctor was now "undergoing evaluations", a statement said.
A security source said that the doctor had been involved in building clinics in Afghanistan but details of his capture were not immediately available.
Hazrat Mohammad Haqbeen, the district governor of Surobi, said Joseph was kidnapped along with an Afghan colleague who was released in return for a ransom earlier in the week.
He said the men were kidnapped in Surobi but were held in a village in the Qarghayi district of the neighbouring province of Laghman. The governor said the US citizen was visiting a clinic when captured.
Surobi, about 50 kilometres east of Kabul and along a key highway linking the capital to Pakistan, experiences sporadic Taliban-linked terrorism.
Westerners are a prize target for the Taliban Islamists, who have waged an 11-year insurgency since being toppled from power in a US-led invasion in 2001. Regular gangsters not linked to the rebels are also involved in the kidnappings.
In June, Nato special forces rescued two foreign women working for a Swiss-based charity who had been kidnapped and held in a cave in Afghanistan's remote and mountainous northern Badakhshan province. Five captors were killed in the raid.