United States Special Operations Forces have rescued an American citizen in Nigeria.
The hostage, Philip Walton, had been abducted by gunmen in Niger and apparently taken across the border to Nigeria where he was held hostage.
In a statement on Saturday, the spokesperson of the US Department of Defence, Jonathan Hoffman, said the American was rescued safely and now in the care of the country’s Department of State.
He said the US forces did not suffer any casualty in the rescue operation.
“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,” Hoffman 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. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”
In a separate statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said, “The United States is committed to the safe return of all US 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.”
Outstanding work by the U.S. military today in freeing a U.S. citizen taken hostage in Niger and reuniting him with his family.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 31, 2020
US President Donald Trump hailed the rescue operation.
“Last night, our Country’s brave warriors rescued an American hostage in Nigeria. Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!, he tweeted.
Last night, our Country’s brave warriors rescued an American hostage in Nigeria. Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2020