Seal Team 6 rescued an American citizen taken hostage last week in Niger, according to a statement from the Pentagon, on Saturday morning.
“U.S. 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. 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. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world,” said Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
Philipe Nathan Walton, an American Citizen, was kidnapped from his farm in Niger on Tuesday by kidnappers who demanded ransom from his family.
Six captors were involved, and five were killed during Walton’s rescue while one got away, according to a defense official.
President Trump praised the rescue on Twitter Saturday morning. “Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!” the president tweeted.
“The United States is committed to the safe return of all U.S. citizens taken captive,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Saturday. “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,” Pompeo added.