ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (AP) -- U.S.-trained troops freed a Kansas missionary after more than a year in captivity Friday but her American husband and a Filipino nurse were killed during the shootout with their Muslim extremist kidnappers in the mountainous jungles of the southern Philippines.
Four of the kidnappers were killed and seven soldiers wounded in the operation by the Light Reaction Company, a stealth unit equipped with silencers, night vision equipment and high-tech headsets. U.S. helicopters were at the scene, helping to remove the wounded.
Martin Burnham, 42, when kidnapped more than a year ago along with his wife Gracia by the Abu Sayyaf extremist group, was killed by a gunshot, said Gen. Narciso Abaya, the Philippine deputy military chief of staff. It was unclear whether he was a victim of the rebels or friendly fire. Abu Sayyaf is believed to have links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorism network.
Abaya said Ediborah Yap, a Filipino nurse kidnapped shortly after the Burnhams, also was shot in the rescue operation and died of her wounds.
Burnham's wife, 43, underwent surgery in a military hospital in the southern city of Zamboanga, said Maj. Gen. Ernesto Carolina, commander of Philippine forces in the south. Doctors said a bullet passed through her in the thigh.
"She's talking. She's out of danger," Carolina told reporters.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said she offered sympathy to the Burnham and Yap families.
"This has been a long and painful trial for them, for our government, for our country," she said.
"Our soldiers tried their best to hold their fire for safety," Macapagal Arroyo said. "We shall not stop until the Abu Sayyaf is finished."
Philippine officers said hundreds of elite troops equipped with night vision goggles and U.S. surveillance technology launched the attack to free the missionaries Friday near the town of Siraway on the main island of Mindanao as part of an extended rescue operation that has been going on for almost two weeks.
Philippine officers said the guerrillas evaded the troops for days but were slowed down by heavy rains Friday, allowing the soldiers to catch them.
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