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US Forces Rescue American Citizen Held Hostage In Northern Nigeria – Pentagon



United States forces have on Saturday carried out a rescue operation in northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen who was held captive by armed men.

Spokesman of Pentagon (headquarters building of United States Department of Defense), Jonathan Hoffman in a statement on Saturday, October 31, stated;

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.

He added;

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.

The State Department confirmed earlier this week that a US citizen had been abducted in Niger.

While the Pentagon did not provide the American citizen’s identity, Reuters quoted a US official to have said, it was 27-year-old Philip Walton, who was kidnapped earlier in the week, and the raid included Navy SEALs.

Six gunmen riding motorcycles and armed with AK-47 assault rifles kidnapped Walton from his home in the village of Massalata, close to the border with Nigeria early on Tuesday.

Governor of the region, Abdourahamane Moussa, told media outlets that after demanding money, the armed men took the American citizen with them in the direction of the Nigerian border.

The State Department spokesman said that;

When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can.

Niger, like much of West Africa’s Sahel region, faces a deepening security crisis as groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State carry out attacks on the army and civilians, despite help from French and US forces.

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