Aid Workers Flown Out of Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan?In a dramatic nighttime evacuation, six aid workers set fire to their all-encompassing burqas so U.S. special forces pilots could find them on an Afghan field. Along with two men, they were whisked to safety early Thursday after three months of Taliban captivity.

“It’s like a miracle,” exulted Georg Taubmann, one of four Germans who was rescued with two Australians and the Americans. “This is one of the biggest days of my life.” Moments after, he cut off his shaggy beard.

All eight Christian aid workers worked with Shelter Now International, directed from Germany but based in Oshkosh, Wis. They were charged with preaching Christianity, which in Taliban courts can be punishable by death.

“They’re fine but tired,” Nancy Cassell told The Associated Press, speaking for her 30-year-daughter, Dayna Curry, as well as Curry’s friend, Heather Mercer, 24, and the six others.