United States military has rescued an American citizen held hostage in Nigeria by a group of armed men, a statement from the US Department of State has announced.
Philip Walton, 27, was seized by gunmen in Niger on October 26.
Newsonspot.com.ng reports that Walton was moved to northern Nigeria where he was held.
The Pentagon confirmed that the operation was executed on Saturday.
“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,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
Hoffman thanked international partners for their support for the mission.
The official stressed that the U.S. will continue to protect its people and interests anywhere in the world.
The operation reportedly lasted several hours, and eliminated six of the seven kidnappers.
It was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 flown by Air Force special operations.
In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Walton would be reunited with his family.
The top diplomat hailed the military for the successful extraction and reiterated that the U.S. will always look out for its nationals.
“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 vowed.