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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Hostage Rescue in Afghanistan

 I want to commend the U.S. Special Operations personnel and the Afghan special operations forces for the professionalism and skill they demonstrated in the raid this morning in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. In the counterterrorism operation targeting Al Qaeda operatives, the partnered team freed Ali Haider Gilani, the son of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who had been held hostage since he was kidnapped three years ago in Pakistan. We will work with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to return him home safely after he receives a medical evaluation.
This raid demonstrates the growing capabilities and effectiveness of the Afghan security forces and is an excellent example of the strong security and intelligence partnership between Afghan and U.S. forces under Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Working alongside our Afghan partners, we will continue to make it clear that there is no safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan.