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US military rescues American held hostage in Nigeria

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THE United States Government on Saturday confirmed the rescue of its citizen held captive in a border town between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The victim was held hostage by an undisclosed armed group believed to have a substantial affiliation within the northern part of the country and Niger.

“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,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told the Cable News Network in a statement.

“We thank the government of Nigeria for its partnership and support for this mission,” the U.S embassy in Nigeria also tweeted applauding supports of the Nigerian Government.

According to another statement attributed to the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, the rescue was conducted Friday night by top military operatives after the force had gathered enough intelligence information.

Reports say six among seven of the abductors were killed by thy US forces.

“The United State is committed to the safe return of all U.S citizens taken captive. We delivered on that commitment last night in Nigeria where some of our bravest and most skilled warriors rescued a U.S citizen after a group of armed men took him, hostage, across the border in Niger,” the statement reads in part.

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President Donald Trump on Saturday  praised the Seal officers who carried out the operation during his campaign in Pennsylvania.

The US embassy in Nigeria has always issued travel warning alert for its citizens in the country. The most recent warning – Level 3 alert was issued October 22.

Since 2002, Boko Haram insurgents have been terrorising northern parts of the country, kidnapping mostly locals and aid workers.

On July 22, the Washington Post reported the incident where members of the Islamic sect kidnapped five aid workers in Maiduguri, Borno State.

President Muhammadu Buhari had identified the victims are employees working with the Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and officials of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency.

The US government applauded the diplomatic supports enjoyed to ensure the rescue process was a success. It hailed the military officers involved and later assured the rescued victim would be reunited with his family.

It renewed its commitment to protecting the lives of every American citizen, particularly those held hostage.

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“We will never abandon any American taken hostage.”

Efforts to get a reaction on inputs of the Nigerian Army in the rescue process from Sagir Musa, Spokesperson for the Army failed.

He did not respond to a text message sent to his line as of the time of this report.

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Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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