SEAL Team Six Member Dies in Daring Rescue From Taliban

Troops free kidnapped American doctor

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 10, 2012 2:00 AM CST | Updated Dec 10, 2012 12:13 PM CST

(Newser) – A member of Seal Team Six died during a daring rescue mission in Afghanistan yesterday, in which special forces successfully freed an American doctor from the Taliban. "He gave his life for his fellow Americans," President Obama said in praising the man, while Leon Panetta called him a "fallen hero." He was later identified as Pennsylvania native Nicholas Checque, a Petty Officer 1st Class with an "East Coast-based Special Warfare Unit." A source tells CNN that unit is Seal Team Six, though he couldn’t say if Checque had helped kill Osama bin Laden.

Dr. Dilip Joseph was captured five days ago, along with two other workers from the Morning Star relief group, the AP reports. While NATO says their captors were Taliban militants, Afghan leaders say they were smugglers. Whoever they were, negotiators were able to convince them to release Joseph's two compatriots about 11 hours before the raid. But the Pentagon opted to launch a rescue mission, which it described as "a combined operation of US and Afghan forces," when intelligence indicated that Joseph's captors were on the verge of harming him.

US troops fly over open desert in this Oct. 11, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)
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