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Troops from the Special Boat Service, the navy's equivalent of the SAS, were called in by Nato after intelligence reports that the Italians were about to be moved from a building east of the town of Farah. The SBS troopers were taken to the area by helicopter, and as Italian commandos stormed the building, the SBS attacked the two trucks in which the captors were about to drive the Italians away.
Maj Anthony hinted that their driver might have been complicit in the kidnappings, and might have been killed in the rescue.
Both the Italian soldiers were injured, one seriously. Italian media reported he had gunshot wounds to the head and chest. British sources said he had been injured before the battle and may have been tortured.