Wednesday 9 September 2009

PM praises courage of soldier killed in hostage rescue

The Prime Minister has praised the courage of a British soldier killed during an operation to free to a journalist being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The soldier, who has not yet been named, was part of a NATO force which this morning rescued New York Times reporter Stephen Farrell, who has dual British and Irish nationality.

Mr Farrell’s Afghan interpreter also died in the raid. Gordon Brown sent his condolences to the families of both men.

The PM said:

“Sadly, we were unable to rescue Stephen’s Afghan interpreter, Sultan Munadi, and we send his family our condolences. It is with very deep sadness that I must also confirm that, while acting with the greatest of courage in this most dangerous mission, one member of the British armed forces lost his life. His family has been informed and our immediate thoughts are with them. His bravery will not be forgotten.”

The Prime Minister said the operation was carried out after extensive planning and thanked the Afghan authorities and NATO allies for their assistance.

He added that the Government would continue to do “everything in our power” to free British nationals who are taken hostage.

Read the Prime Minister’s full statement


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