Navy SEALs launch failed raid to rescue Wagga Taliban abductee

A WAGGA man has been taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Trinity Senior High School and St Michael’s Regional High School alumnus was snatched on August 7 by five armed gunmen in military uniforms.

The Islamic fundamentalists pulled him into a four-wheel-drive on one of the main streets in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

American Navy SEALs have since stormed a Taliban compound in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan as part of an unsuccessful rescue mission.

The SEAL team, supported by American Army Rangers, engaged in a deadly gun battle with dozens of insurgents but reportedly missed the Wagga man by a matter of hours. 

American defence officials confirmed the raid was conducted, but The Pentagon said “the hostages were not at the location we suspected”.

The Wagga man had been teaching high-level English at the American University of Afghanistan for less than a month when he was snatched.

The lessons were preparing Afghan students to study abroad in English-speaking nations.

A spokeswoman from Australia’s foreign affairs department confirmed the kidnapping.

“Consular officials are providing ongoing consular assistance to the man’s family,” the spokeswoman said.

“We continue to advise Australians not to travel to Afghanistan because of the extremely dangerous security situation, including the serious threat of kidnapping.

“Due to privacy and security considerations we will not be commenting further.”

The Daily Advertiser has chosen not to name the former Ashmont man out of respect to the family’s privacy and concerns of raising his monetary value among terrorist groups. 

Should details be published contrary to what the Wagga man has told his kidnappers, it could put him in serious danger.

The failed SEAL raids targeted a notorious Taliban faction known as the Haqqani network.

The Haqqani network has a reputation for violence, abduction and extortion, having kidnappe a number of high-profile captives in recent years.

Captives are typically taken to strongholds in tribal areas of Pakistan, beyond the legal reach of American forces.

Officials are tight-lipped about whether the man is in Afghanistan or Pakistan. 

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