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3 US Soldiers, 5 Nigerien soldiers killed in Ambush

by on October 5, 2017
 

Five Nigerien soldiers  and three U.S. Army Special Forces troops were killed and two wounded in an ambush on a joint patrol in southwest Niger, near Mali.

The attack occurred   on Wednesday, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials.

The five Green Berets were attacked while on a routine patrol in an area known to have a presence of insurgents, including from al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Islamic State, a U.S. official told Reuters.

It was unclear who fired on the U.S. and U.S.-backed forces, the official said. Those forces were not patrolling the area with any specific objective, such as a high-value target or rescuing a hostage, the official added.

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A spokesman for U.S. Africa Command confirmed the attack after Radio France International (RFI) reported a lethal ambush near the Niger/Mali border.

“We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” said the spokesman.

Namatta Abubacar, an official for the region of Tillaberi in Niger, said five Nigerien soldiers were among the dead.

A Niger diplomatic source said the attackers had come from Mali and had killed several soldiers, without saying whether any of the U.S. troops stationed in the West African country were among the victims.

U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed by telephone on the attack by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly while Trump flew back on Air Force One from Las Vegas, where he had been visiting victims and first responders affected by Sunday’s mass shooting.

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RFI said earlier on Wednesday a counter-attack was underway.

African security forces backed by Western troops are stepping up efforts to counter jihadist groups forming part of a growing regional insurgency in the poor, sparsely populated deserts of the Sahel.

A relatively new militant group called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has claimed some of the attacks.

Geoff D. Porter, head of North Africa Risk Consulting, said that any confirmation of Islamic State’s role in Wednesday’s strike would lead to a strategic shift from Libya toward the Sahel band, stretching eastwards from Senegal to Chad.

“The emphasis … will now shift south,” he said.

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The U.S. Africa Command has hundreds of soldiers deployed across the region, including at an air facility in Agadez, and offers training and support to Niger’s army in aspects such as intelligence gathering and surveillance.

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  • Okwudili
    October 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Very painful

    Reply

  • AGO DERE
    October 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Until Isam purges itself totally of its terrorism links and roots, people will continue to die, say what u want to say, why do all terrorists profess to be Moslems? um say they are not true moslems but why do we not have christin terrorists who are true christians or not true christians? IT IS BECAUSE TERRORISM HAS NO BASE IN CHRISTIANITY AND JESUS DID NOT TEACH OR PREACH PHYSICAL VIOLENCE WHILE MOHAMMED WAS A JIHADIST WARRIOR AND TERROSIT WHO FOUGHT WARS AND KILLED WITH THE SWORD TO DISPLACE PAGAN RELIGION AND INSTIL ISLAM, AND THE VERSES ARE THERE IN THE QUARAN COMMANDING ALL TRUE MOSLEMS TO DO SAME, WHAT GOOD DOES DENIAL OF THIS BRING IN A MILLION YEARS, NOTHING BUT MORE DEATHS

    Reply

  • Benkingsley Nwashara
    October 5, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    very painful indeed. I so much think that this incident will raise the eyebrows of the world concerning increasing security in Mali and niger

    Reply

  • rsquattro
    October 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    @ago dere
    u didnt have to put islam in any of this especially since you clearly know nothing about it… IRA are declared terrorist group long before any of the so called islamist terrorist cell started making headlines and despite containing purely christian membership no one ever called them christianist terror cell but they have bombed ceaselessly innocent citizens of the UK. Another one is the LRA which started from a church by so called reverend and it leader joseph kony is still at large and terrorist cell is still functional cutting arm of villages executing them for talkn to police it remains oldest terrorist cell in africa no one ever calls them “christianist”
    …i urge u to be a little bit educated and partial before u point fingers and make judgements

    Reply

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