3 soldiers killed in Niger assigned to Fort Bragg, Defense Department says

3 soldiers killed in Niger assigned to Fort Bragg, Defense Department says”

On Friday, the Department of Defense confirmed that the three soldiers that were killed Wednesday in southwest Niger were stationed at Fort Bragg.

"The joint patrol was ambushed by terrorist elements in a dozen vehicles and on 20 motorbikes", Niger's Defence Ministry said in a statement. Four Nigerien soldiers were killed and eight wounded as well. The deaths and injuries came "after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage".

"Our country has once again been the victim of an attack by terrorist groups, " Issoufou said in a speech on Thursday at the opening of an economic forum in the capital Niamey.

Islamist militants form part of a growing regional insurgency in the poor, sparsely populated deserts of West Africa's Sahel.

Boko Haram, based south in Nigeria, has also staged several attacks in Niger near its border. Africa Command said the USA forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists.

Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright was killed in the ambush
US ARMY Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright was killed in the ambush

Two other American soldiers were wounded, but they have not been identified.

The source said al Qaeda and a relatively new militant group called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara were the two main suspects, although no one had yet claimed responsibility.

US President Donald Trump has been briefed by his chief-of-staff, John Kelly, about the attack, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

That force will operate in the region along with a 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, which has become the deadliest in the world for United Nations peacekeepers, and France's 5,000-strong Barkhane military operation, its largest overseas mission.

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