SEAL Team 6 rescued an American citizen taken hostage in northern Nigeria, killing several of his captors, Pentagon officials announced Saturday morning.
Philip Walton, 27, was kidnapped from his home in southern Niger on Tuesday, according to two unnamed sources in a report from The Guardian.
Six men armed with assault rifles arrived at Walton’s home on Tuesday via motorcycles, kidnapping him while leaving his family behind. The assailants then demanded money for his return. (RELATED: US Marshals Find 27 Missing Children In 5 Days In Virginia)
No U.S. military personnel were reportedly hurt during the “daring” rescue operation that reportedly took place early Saturday.
Walton is being held at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Niamey, according to The Guardian. (RELATED: ‘Very Politically Correct!’: Trump Calls Out Laura Ingraham’s Mask During Michigan Rally)
“The United States is committed to the safe return of all US citizens taken captive,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “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,” he added. “We will never abandon any American taken hostage.”
President Donald Trump also touted the achievement in a Saturday morning tweet proclaiming, “Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!”
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
SEAL Team 6 killed six assailants and captured one, ABC reported.
Ransom kidnappings have become more frequent in West Africa, with groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State carry them out to gain millions.
The United States government has criticized other countries for paying these ransoms, according to The Guardian.