American citizen Jessica Buchanan and Danish citizen Poul Thisted have been freed from Somali pirates in a daring raid by Navy SEALS. Buchanan and Thisted had been held hostage in October.
Buchanan was working for the Danish De-Mining Group, which works to clear mines and explosive devices from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa when she was kidnapped from Galkayo.
Reports show that Somali pirates are increasing their land attacks as forces increase security at sea.
A select team of U.S. Navy SEALS successfully carried out the raid late last night; nine pirates were killed in the shootout but no U.S. casualties were reported. President Barack Obama congratulated Defense Secretary Leon Panetta during his State of the Union address by saying "good job tonight."
Obama acknowledged that he had authorized the mission on Monday, describing it as "another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people."
The Danish Refugee Council confirmed the rescue last night: "The two aid workers from the Danish Refugee Council's demining unit, DDG, are both unharmed and at a safe location."
U.S. forces parachuted into an area near the site where Buchanan was being held, according to reports; the team was on the ground for an hour and left via helicopter to a U.S. military base in the Horn of Africa. President Obama personally called Buchanan's father to give him the good news of his daughter's rescue.
Another case in Somalia is gaining attention as well.
Yusuf Ali, a journalist with Royal Television in London, is currently being held by the Somali government. Organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists have called on world leaders to work for his freedom.
Somali police have cracked down on journalists and foreigners in the area who they believe support rebel forces and threaten security.
The Committee has issued a statement saying "authorities must bring charges against Yusuf Ali or release him immediately."