- An American citizen “held hostage by a group of armed men” in Nigeria was rescued early Saturday, the Chief Pentagon Spokesman said in a statement.
- The American citizen is safe and no US military members were harmed during the operation, according to the spokesman.
- The US Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six carried out the mission and killed six out of seven captors of the American citizen, sources told ABC and CNN.
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An American citizen taken hostage by a group of armed men in Nigeria was rescued on Saturday.
Johnathan Hoffman, the Chief Pentagon Spokesman, said in a statement early Saturday that “US forces conducted a hostage rescue operation” early Saturday in Nigeria to rescue an American citizen who was “held hostage by a group of armed men.” Hoffman said the American citizen is safe and no US military personnel were harmed in the process.
ABC News reported the American citizen was identified as 27-year-old Philip Walton who was abducted in Niger, West Africa on Monday. Officials told ABC and CNN that the US Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six carried out the mission and killed six out of the seven captors of Walton.
President Donald Trump praised the military members for the rescue operation.
“Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!” he tweeted Saturday morning.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also thanked the US military and intelligence professionals for the American citizen’s return in a statement Saturday, in addition to tweeting out his praise for the military.
“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 US citizen after a group of armed men took him hostage across the border in Niger,” he said.
“We will never abandon any American taken hostage,” he added.
—Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 31, 2020
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