In the early morning hours Wednesday, US Special Operations forces raided a Somali compound and rescued an American and a Dane who had been held hostage by pirates since October.

The hostages had been abducted at gunpoint near the semiautonomous region of Galcayo, Somalia.

While pirates ordinarily raid ships, in this case they had taken the unusual step of conducting a kidnapping on land, subsequently holding their two hostages in an outdoor camp.