Philip Walton, an American man abducted in Niger Republic and taken across the border into Nigeria, has been freed by US military personnel who also eliminated the abductors early Saturday.
Walton was reportedly abducted by armed men on Monday, October 26 in his compound on a farm near Massalata, a small village close to the border with Nigeria.
Collaborating with Nigerien and Nigerian officials, the Pentagon quickly put together a quick rescue mission.
In a statement, Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman said, “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.”
ABC News reported, quoting an unnamed military source, that the operation was undertaken by the elite SEAL Team Six who eliminated all but one of the abductors.
The report quoted Nigerien and American officials as saying that they believed that an armed, non-terror related group from Nigeria kidnapped Walton in the home he shared with his wife and young daughter.