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US Forces Rescue Abducted American In Nigeria

The United States forces say they have rescued an American citizen who is being held hostage in northern Nigeria.

In a statement, Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon spokesman, said the rescue operation was conducted on Saturday morning.

The American was reportedly abducted in Niger Republic on Tuesday and subsequently moved to Nigeria.

“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,” the statement quoted by CNN read.

“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.”

ABC News identified the US citizen as 27-year-old Philip Walton.

It said the rescue operation was aided by the governments of Nigeria and Niger Republic, quoting officials as saying: “The elite SEAL Team Six carried out the rescue mission and killed all but one of the seven captors.”

“They were all dead before they knew what happened,” it quoted a counterterrorism source to have said.

Local media reported that the US citizen was abducted from his backyard when armed men stormed his house in Massalata, a village that shares borders with northern Nigeria.

He was said to have been taken away after failing to provide cash as demanded by the armed men and later moved to Nigeria.

Massalata, one of the many Nigerien villagers bothering Nigeria, is 106 kilometres and about two hours away from Sokoto.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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