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Old 12-01-2019, 12:39 PM
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Arrow Taliban hostage: Navy SEALS ‘missed us only by hours’ during rescue attempts

Taliban hostage: Navy SEALS ‘missed us only by hours’ during rescue attempts
By: Jorge Fitz-Gibbon - New York Post - 12-1-19

Timothy Weeks - AP photo

A recently released Taliban hostage said he believes US Navy SEALS “were right outside our door” during several failed rescue attempts — but “missed us only by hours.”

“I believe, and I hope this is correct, that they came in six times to try to get us, and that a number of times they missed us only by hours,” Timothy Weeks, 50, told the BBC.

“I believe they were right outside our door,” he said. “The moment that we got into the tunnels, we were one or two meters underground and there was a huge bang at the front door.”

Weeks, an Australian, and American Kevin King, both professors at the American University of Kabul, were held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for three years before being released last month in a prisoner exchange for three high-ranking insurgents.

Weeks said commando rescue raids came while he was being held in several locations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, often inside windowless cells.

During one rescue attempt in April, he said his captors told him they were under attack by rival militants — but he believes it was the SEALS.

He was pushed into a tunnel while the Taliban guards rushed out “and there was a lot of machine gunfire.” Weeks said he was knocked unconscious when he fell over backward into the tunnel.

He said his release “ended as abruptly as it had begun,” when two US Black Hawk choppers touched down in front of him to bring him home.

“At times, I felt as if my death was imminent, and that I would never return to see those that I loved again,” he said. “But, by the will of God, I am here, I am alive and I am safe — and I am free.”

Weeks also said that he doesn’t hold a grudge against his captors.

“I don’t hate them at all,” he said. “And some of them I have great respect for, and great love for, almost. Some of them were so compassionate and such lovely, lovely people.”

“And it really led me to think about… how did they end up like this?”

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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