According to U.S. officials, the rescue started just after midnight local time when about 30 Navy commandos parachuted into the remote area where the kidnappers had taken Walton.

Members of the rescue team hiked about three miles until they came upon the captors’ small encampment in a copse of scrubland bushes and trees.

In the brief but intense firefight that ensued and with surveillance drones buzzing overhead, all but one of the half-dozen or so kidnappers were killed.

One captor escaped into the night.

Walton was not harmed in the gun battle, and he walked out to a makeshift landing zone, where a U.S. helicopter whisked him to safety.