Pentagon has announced the rescue of an American by United States Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 on Saturday in Nigeria.
The American was taken hostage by armed men earlier this week in Niger and held captive in northern Nigeria.
According to Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman, “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.”
“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.”
An official with knowledge of the operation told CNN, the mission was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 who were flown to the region by Air Force special operations.
During the operation, six of the seven kidnappers were killed the official revealed.
The kidnappers are believed to have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region, and were more likely bandits seeking money.
Vantage News has reliably confirmed the US citizen was a male missionary.
The governor of the local region where the abduction took place was quoted in various local media and by French media reporting from
Niger authorities confirmed that last week, six men on motorbikes armed with AK-47s came to the man’s property in the village of Massalata, close to the border with Nigeria, after demanding money, the men took the American citizen with them in the direction of the Nigerian border.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US citizen would be reunited with his family.
“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,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We will never abandon any American taken hostage.”
President Donald Trump on Saturday thanked the special operations forces for rescuing the American citizen and said more details about the mission would be shared in “a very short period of time.”