Three US commandos killed in Niger in suspected al-Qaeda ambush

Three US commandos killed in Niger in suspected al-Qaeda ambush
1 min read
05 October, 2017
An ambush suspected to have been carried out by al-Qaeda has left three US commandos dead and two wounded near the Niger-Mali border.
US commandos are training Niger's army near the border with Mali [GETTY illustrative image]

Three US Special Operations Forces commandos were killed and two others wounded in southwestern Niger on Wednesday, when they were ambushed by unidentified gunmen.

US officials said that the two wounded were taken to Niger's capital, Niamey, where they are in stable conditions.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the attack was likely to have been perpetrated by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

US Africa command said in a statement that the commandos were with a joint US and Nigerien patrol north of Niamey, near the country's border with Mali.

It added that US forces are in the area to training and assisting the Nigerian Armed Forces in their efforts against militants.

In August, an attack on a Turkish restaurant in neighbouring Burkina Faso left 18 people dead.

The shooting was suspected to have been carried out by AQIM or Ansarul Islam - another militant group active in the region.

Islamist militants in West Africa have carried out a number of attacks on security forces, executed civilians and taken foreigners hostage.

The White House said that President Donald Trump was notified about Wednesday' attack as he flew aboard Air Force One from Las Vegas to Washington.