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School of American rescued in Somalia relieved

PHOENIXVILLE - One of the two aid workers rescued by Navy SEALS in Somalia is a graduate of a small religious college in suburban Philadelphia and the head of the school says officials are grateful their prayers have been answered.

The Rev. Don Meyer says Jessica Buchanan graduated from Valley Forge Christian College in 2006. He says she "fell in love with Africa" after doing a student teaching stint at Rossalyn Academy in Nairobi.

The 32-year-old Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted, a 60-year-old Dane, were rescued early Wednesday. They had been kidnapped in October.

Meyer says those who know Buchanan want to offer their "deep gratitude" to the people who worked to free her.

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Held captive since last fall, Buchanan and Thisted are safely on their way home after a bold, dark-of-night rescue by U.S. Navy SEALs. The commandos slipped into a Somali encampment, shot and killed nine captors and whisked the hostages to freedom.

President Obama authorized the mission by SEAL Team 6 two days earlier, deploying the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden last year. Minutes after the president gave his State of the Union address to Congress he was on the phone with the American's father to tell him his daughter was safe.

The Danish Refugee Council confirmed the two aid workers were "on their way to be reunited with their families."

Buchanan and Thisted were working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when gunmen kidnapped them.

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