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Elite Navy SEAL dies in rescue mission to save US doctor in Afghanistan (+video)

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(Read caption) The Pentagon says a Navy SEAL from Monroeville, Pa., was killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan that freed an American doctor abducted by the Taliban.
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A United States special operations member was killed during a weekend rescue mission in Afghanistan that freed an American doctor, raising questions about the safety of aid workers in the region as it prepares for a drawdown of US combat troops by 2014.

Dr. Dilip Joseph, a US citizen, and two others who work for a faith-based nonprofit organization, were captured by Taliban on Dec. 5 while they were returning from a rural health clinic outside the capital, Kabul. 

The early Sunday raid that successfully rescued Dr. Joseph, a three-year employee of the Morning Star Development, an organization in Colorado Springs, Colo., came after 3-1/2 days of negotiations that reportedly included demands for a $100,000 ransom, according to the Colorado Springs' Gazette newspaper.

The rescue highlights the fact that, despite international efforts to control violence, kidnappings for ransom are still a frequent and lucrative business in the area, Foreign policy reports. 

Much of the threat is simply criminal. There is a burgeoning kidnapping industry in Afghanistan, part of the conflict economy that has been fed by tens of billions of dollars the international forces and community have pumped into the country since 2001. Most kidnappings end either in the payment of a ransom or the death of the hostage, and ransoms for foreigners can approach half a million dollars – though it's wealthy Afghans who are most often the victims.  

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