Navy SEALs Rescue Abducted American On Nigerian Soil


Personnel from the US Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 have rescued an American who was abducted from his home in Niger and whisked to the neighboring country of Nigeria, US officials said. The rescue operation was carried out by a group of nearly 30 Navy commandos who parachuted into a remote area in Northern Nigeria where the abductee was tracked to. The operation culminated in a brief firefight that saw six out of seven assailants killed and with no US personnel injured, officials said.

The abducted American, by name Philip Walton, is a son of missionaries who lived with his wife and a young daughter on a farm near Masalata, a small Niger village that shares a close border with Nigeria. US officials said Mr. Walton was abducted from his backyard on Monday, the 26th of October, after assailants asked him for money. He offered them $40 and was then abducted by the armed assailants who demanded a ransom of nearly $1 million for his release.

On the 31st of October, just after midnight local time, about 30 Navy commandos parachuted into a remote area and hiked about three miles to a small encampment where a gun battle ensued between the commandos and Mr. Walton's kidnappers. In a brief but intense gun battle, six out of seven armed assailants where killed while one escaped into the night. The hostage was rescued without any harm and  “is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State,” according to US officials.

No military personnel where hurt in the rescue operation, which required an approval from the sitting US President Donald Trump, officials said.