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Old 11-14-2001, 09:01 PM   #1
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Great News!!!

Eight Foreign Aid Workers Freed, Official Says
WASHINGTON Eight foreign aid workers, two of them Americans, were safe in Pakistan on Wednesday after being held by the Taliban militia since August for preaching Christianity, senior defense officials told Fox News.


Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were freed as a result of military action, but would give no details.

Meanwhile, Qatar's Al-Jazeera satellite news channel reported that the Taliban claimed to have "released" the aid workers.

Three U.S. special forces helicopters picked up the aid workers in a field near Ghanzi, about 50 miles southwest of Kabul, about 4:40 p.m. EST, Pentagon officials said.

The aid workers were flown to Pakistan, and appear to be in good health, officials said.

It was not clear whether the Taliban released the aid workers or they escaped or were freed by U.S. forces.

President Bush, who had rejected several attempts by the Taliban to use the aid workers as bargaining chips, planned to make a statement on the aid workers from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.



AP
Dayna Curry
The aid workers' rescue came five weeks into U.S. military airstrikes against Taliban and al-Qaida forces protecting Osama bin Laden, the No. 1 suspect in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

In Islamambad, Nancy Cassell, the mother of U.S. aid worker Dayna Curry, said before dawn Thursday local time: "They're on their way here. I'm happy and I want to get ready to go where they come in."

The ruling militia were driven out of Kabul on Tuesday by U.S.-backed rebel forces. The Taliban headed south, taking the aid workers with them. They had been held in cells in a detention center in the Afghan capital.

Several people gathered Wednesday afternoon in front of a television set at Waco, Texas' Antioch Community Church, where the two Americans, Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry, are members.

Senior pastor Jimmy Seibert thrust his arms into the air when news aired that the workers had been released.

"Thank you, Lord," he shouted.

"It is more exciting than we could have imagined," he said. "The great thing I learned is that prayer works. That if we persevere, ask God for what's on his heart, we can trust him to see us through."

In Nashville, Tenn., Curry's stepmother, Sue Fuller, told a reporter she was elated at her stepdaughter's release.

"I'm so excited that we're going to see her soon and that she's safe," Fuller said. "I just think you know she trusted that God would take care of her and get her out of there safely, and it's happened."

The eight workers -- four Germans, two Americans and two Australians -- are employees of the Germany-based Christian organization Shelter Now International. They have been held since Aug. 3 on charges of trying to convert Muslims, which was a serious offense under the Taliban's harsh Islamic rule.

Taliban Supreme Court judges had indefinitely postponed their trial, saying they feared their anger at the United States over the airstrikes could hamper their ability to make a fair ruling in the case.

Earlier Wednesday, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said he was confident the eight would be released soon.

Seif el-Islam Gadhafi, chairman of the Gadhafi Foundation for Charitable Organizations, told The Associated Press that his nongovernmental organization has been in touch with the Taliban for about two months in efforts to win their freedom.

"I believe that the Taliban will release these people in the near future," he said in a statement to the AP made through Libya's consulate in Vienna.

Although the United States accuses Libya of sponsoring terrorism, and recently extended sanctions against foreign companies suspected of doing business with the North African nation, Washington suspended sanctions against Libya itself in 1999.

The suspension came after Libya handed over two officials for trial on charges of planting the bomb that downed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The attack killed 270 people, including 179 Americans.

Gadhafi's son said his foundation made contact with the Taliban "with the aim of finding a solution for these people through third-party mediation," and that the effort was bearing fruit "because of the good standing the foundation enjoys in this area."

Libya is anxious to improve its standing with the West, and last year, it was involved in freeing all but one of 21 Western tourists and Asian workers kidnapped by rebels in the Philippines.
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Old 11-14-2001, 09:34 PM   #2
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It's wonderful news. I just heard about it on tonight's news.
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Old 11-14-2001, 09:44 PM   #3
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Cool news!!!!bDayna Curry is from the town just south of Nashville -- Brentwood, TN. So it's BIG news here!!!

[This message has been edited by MysteryGirl (edited 11-14-2001).]
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Old 11-14-2001, 10:45 PM   #4
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This is indeed GREAT news regarding the aid workers. I know some of you felt like they "got what they asked for" a few months back when this came to light (early August, I think?) but it would be tough for anyone to argue that it wasn't a human rights violation.

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Old 11-14-2001, 10:53 PM   #5
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Yay!!! YAY!!!

As Mystery Girl up there said, Dayna has been in the news a good bit here because her family is from here... I am so glad for them and for all of these folks.

Great news.

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Old 11-14-2001, 11:27 PM   #6
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This is indeed good news, and I'm happy to see that these aid workers have been released. I'm quite happy, as well, that the Taliban appears to be near death. Tyranny must be stopped worldwide.

What is interesting, on a side note, is to compare how Fox News and the AP reported this. Fox News gives credit to uncomfirmed "military action" (implicit that the U.S. was involved), while the AP gives possible credit to Libyan third-party mediation. Always interesting in how the same event can be reported differently, when seen through different ideological lenses.

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Old 11-14-2001, 11:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
This is indeed good news, and I'm happy to see that these aid workers have been released. I'm quite happy, as well, that the Taliban appears to be near death. Tyranny must be stopped worldwide.

What is interesting, on a side note, is to compare how Fox News and the AP reported this. Fox News gives credit to uncomfirmed "military action" (implicit that the U.S. was involved), while the AP gives possible credit to Libyan third-party mediation. Always interesting in how the same event can be reported differently, when seen through different ideological lenses.

Melon

If you want another ideological viewpoint on this event:

the BBC reports that.....

"it is not clear whether the eight were freed by their Taliban captors or whether Northern Alliance soldiers had a hand in events."
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Old 11-15-2001, 12:09 AM   #8
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Praise God!
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Old 11-15-2001, 12:11 AM   #9
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I heard on the internet that The A-Team went in and rescued them.



[This message has been edited by U2Bama (edited 11-14-2001).]
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Old 11-15-2001, 01:32 AM   #10
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I know some of you felt like they "got what they asked for" a few months back when this came to light (early August, I think?) but it would be tough for anyone to argue that it wasn't a human rights violation.
It was a human rights violation and it shouldn't of happened, but they should have used some common sense.

"Hey, let's go preach Christianity in the middle of the captitol of a nation run by the biggest religious zelots in the world!"

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Old 11-15-2001, 03:00 AM   #11
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Thanks Bama, now I can't get "The A-Team" theme song outta my head! lol


This is happy news tho

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Old 11-15-2001, 09:00 AM   #12
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by DoctorGonzo:
It was a human rights violation and it shouldn't of happened, but they should have used some common sense.

"Hey, let's go preach Christianity in the middle of the captitol of a nation run by the biggest religious zelots in the world!"

You must not understand the point of evangelical Christianity. Just before Jesus ascended to His Father, he told the crowd "Go and spread the Gospel, making disciples of all nations". As Christians, we are supposed to evangelize, and The LOrd doesn't say "Only preach in those areas that are safe". I applaud these 8 people. They saw the horrible things that were happening in Afghanistan, and they knew that's where the love of God was needed, so they went, risking their own lives. But God loves those Afghani women as much as He loves anyone, so why should they not have the Gospel preached to them, just because the law forbids it?

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