A United States citizen, Philip Walton, has been rescued by elite commandos of the US military during a high-risk operation, in a state in northern Nigeria, says PRNigeria
US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo had announced the rescue in a statement on Saturday. He said, “The United States is committed to the safe return of all U.S. citizens taken captive. We delivered on that commitment late last night in Nigeria, where some of our bravest and most skilled warriors rescued a U.S. citizen after a group of armed men took him hostage across the border in Niger.
“Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our military, the support of our intelligence professionals, and our diplomatic efforts, the hostage will be reunited with his family.
“We will never abandon any American taken hostage,” Pompeo said.
PRNigeria further reported that the operation was in a collaborative effort with Nigerien and Nigerian security services after Walton, 27, was abducted by bandits in the Niger Republic on October 26.
According to ABC, Walton lived with his wife and young daughter on a farm near Massalata, a small village close to the border with Nigeria.
US and Nigerien officials had said that Walton was kidnapped from his backyard last Monday after assailants asked him for money. But he only offered $40 USD and was then taken away by force.
In the operation, involving governments of the US, Niger and Nigeria working together to rescue Walton quickly, the elite SEAL Team Six carried out the rescue mission and killed all but one of the captors, officials with direct knowledge about the operation said.
Pentagon chief spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman, disclosed that, “US forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men.”
He further said: “This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation. We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation.”
With reports By PRNigeria