US commandos have rescued missionary Philip Walton in Nigeria, just a few days after he was abducted by gunmen in the south of neighbouring Niger and taken across the border.
Walton was abducted last Tuesday morning on the outskirts of Massalata, a village about 10 kilometres from the border with Nigeria.
In a dramatic predawn raid on Saturday, commandos from the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 rescued the 27-year-old after they tracked his abductors’ phones to a hide-out in neighbouring northern Nigeria, according to U.S. officials.
Walton was released unharmed and no American military personnel were injured during the operation, chief Pentagon spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement on Saturday.
All but one of the captors were killed during the high-precision raid, U.S. officials said.
President Donald Trump hailed the rescue operation in a tweet as a “big win”.
He also tweeted that “courageous soldiers” had pulled off a “daring nighttime rescue operation” and told reporters that “it was something that had to get done because they were playing with American citizens”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the rescue by “some of our bravest and most skilled warriors” underscores the U.S. commitment “to the safe return of all U.S. citizens taken captive”.
Read more: yahoo