US Commando Killed in Afghanistan Rescue Mission
 
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An American special forces commando was killed during the mission to rescue a kidnapped doctor in Afghanistan, the US government revealed Sunday.

US President Barack Obama praised the special forces, saying the mission was characteristic of US troops' "extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism."

The US did not immediately identify the special forces soldier killed in the mission but an official told CNN the soldier was from the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group – commonly known as SEAL Team Six – the same unit that raided and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year.

"He gave his life for his fellow Americans, and he and his teammates remind us once more of the selfless service that allows our nation to stay strong, safe and free," Obama said in a statement.

Seven insurgents were also killed in the pre-dawn raid on Sunday which was launched when intelligence showed that the hostage, Dilip Joseph, was in "imminent danger of injury or death", Isaf said Sunday.

Isaf claimed the kidnappers were Taliban insurgents, but other officials said it was a criminal gang.

Joseph had been abducted on December 5 with his Afghan colleague by insurgents in the Sarobi district of Kabul province.

The Afghan doctor was released after his family paid $12,000 to the smugglers, according to reports.

In a separate statement Sunday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, "In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld."

Isaf said the rescued doctor was undergoing evaluations.

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