Former Pakistan PM’s Son Freed in Joint Raid

     (CN) — Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Tuesday that U.S. military members and Afghan special forces rescued the son of Pakistan’s former prime minister in a counterterrorism operation targeting al-Qaida.
     The raid happened Tuesday morning in Afghanistan’s Paktika Province, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
     The mission resulted in the rescue of Ali Haider Gilani, the son of former Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The younger Gilani had been held hostage since his kidnapping three years ago in Pakistan.
     “We will work with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to return [Gilani] home safely after he receives a medical evaluation,” Carter said in a statement. “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.”
     Gilani is believed to be around 30 years old, according to an Associated Press report. A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told the news wire service that Gilani was being taken to the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
     A statement from the U.S. military in Afghanistan said that four enemy combatants were killed in the raid, and no other injuries were reported.
     Pakistani politician Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a member of the elder Gilani’s People’s Party, reportedly said on Twitter that the father had been told of his son’s rescue.
     “This is a very good day for me,” the father reportedly said.

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