Home Africa US SEAL Team Six clears hostage situation in Nigeria

US SEAL Team Six clears hostage situation in Nigeria

Lagos Nigeria military drill
Illustration: US Marine Corps file photo of a training event in Nigeria

A team of US special forces operatives has rescued an American citizen who was being held hostage in Northern Nigeria by a group of armed men.

While the official confirmation did not reveal the identity of the hostage, nor the units involved in the rescue, several reports indicated that SEAL Team Six took part in the operation.

“US 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 US Department of State,” Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said.

No US military personnel were injured during the operation, Hoffmann added.

Reuters reported that the hostage was 27-year-old Philip Walton, who had been abducted from his home in neighboring southern Niger. Conflicting reports said either all or the majority of the kidnappers, who Reuters believes to be from the Fulani ethnic group, were killed in the operation.

US president Donald Trump praised the operation on Twitter, saying it was a “big win for our special forces.”