United States’ citizen who was kidnapped in Niger this past week has been rescued in a US military operation in neighboring Nigeria, according to US officials.
Philipe Nathan Walton was abducted from his farm in Massalata village in southern Niger early on Tuesday morning by armed men who requested ransom from the man’s father.
The United States Department of Defense confirmed the military operation on Saturday, disclosing that it took place in northern Nigeria.
“This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the US Department of State. No US military personnel were injured during the operation,” the department announcement in a statement.
President Donald Trump said in a tweet it was a “big win for our very elite US Special Forces today” and details would come later.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared in an official statement: “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.”
Walton, who kept camels, sheep and poultry and grew mangos near the border with Nigeria, was abducted by six men who armed with AK-47 assault rifles who arrived on motorcycles at his home.
His wife, young daughter and brother were all left behind.