US forces rescue American citizen held hostage in Nigeria

U.S. forces have rescued an American citizen held hostage in northern Nigeria, the Pentagon announced Saturday, with President Trump Dona...


U.S. forces have rescued an American citizen held hostage in northern Nigeria, the Pentagon announced Saturday, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE hailing the rescue mission as a “big win” for U.S. Special Forces.

“Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning, apparently in reference to the rescue mission. “Details to follow!”

The Pentagon confirmed that it launched a successful operation early Saturday to free an American hostage held in northern 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. 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,” said Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the secretary of Defense for public affairs. 

“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.”

Officials did not name the rescued U.S. citizen but multiple outlets identified the person as Philip Walton.

ABC News reported that the elite SEAL Team Six conducted the operation and killed all but one of the seven captors.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for further details.

The State Department first confirmed on Tuesday that a U.S. citizen was kidnapped in Niger in an area near the Nigeria border where Al Qaeda-linked militants and the Islamic State’s Boko Haram are known to operate. 

Local media outlets said the kidnapped man was a missionary. Officials told ABC that the captors were likely from an armed group that they do not consider terror-related, though terrorist groups often buy hostages.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies said in July that the Sahel region of Africa has seen a nearly sevenfold spike in terrorist attacks over the past three years.

The rescue gives Trump a positive news story to tout just three days before the Nov. 3 presidential election, with polls showing him trailing Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father’s campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE.

Still, tens of millions of votes have already been cast and surveys show the vast majority of voters have already made up their minds.

Trump and Biden are criss-crossing the country this weekend in a flurry of final campaign stops heading into Election Day.

 



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Newsrust: US forces rescue American citizen held hostage in Nigeria
US forces rescue American citizen held hostage in Nigeria
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