•Kill six of the seven kidnappers
An American citizen abducted last week in Niger has been rescued during a high-risk U.S. military raid in neighbouring Nigeria, officials told ABC News early Saturday. The mission was undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the U.S. citizen, Philip Walton, 27, before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on October 26, counterterrorism officials told ABC News.
The operation involved the governments of the U.S., Niger and Nigeria working together to rescue Walton quickly, sources said. The elite SEAL Team Six carried out the rescue mission and killed all but one of the seven captors, according to officials with direct knowledge about the operation. “They were all dead before they knew what happened,” another counterterrorism source with knowledge told ABC News.
The Pentagon lauded the rescue mission in a statement. “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,” said Pentagon chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman. “This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of