SEAL Team 6 rescued an American citizen held hostage for several days by a group of armed men in northern Nigeria last week. The news was confirmed by chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in a statement obtained by CNN.
In the statement, Hoffman said the unnamed American citizen was “safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State.” He added that no military personnel were injured in the rescue.
“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation,” he added. “The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”
President Donald Trump declared the news, which came out on Halloween, a “daring nighttime rescue operation.”
Just before noon on Saturday, Trump tweeted that “Last night, our Country’s brave warriors rescued an American hostage in Nigeria. Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!”
The mission reportedly took several hours to conduct and the elite SEAL Team were brought to the area with the help of the U.S. Air Force. SEAL Team 6 killed six of the seven captors, the Pentagon said. The U.S. believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region, and were likely bandits seeking money.
While the hostage’s name has not been released, officials last week said that an American citizen was abducted in a remote village near neighboring Niger.
"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," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "We will never abandon any American taken hostage."