US and Niger soldiers ‘killed in ambush’

Map of Niger, display a collateral Niamey, a segment of Tillaberi and beside countries

Three US soldiers have been killed and dual others bleeding in an waylay in Niger nearby a limit with Mali, reports say.

Several Nigerien soldiers are also pronounced to have died in a attack.

US Africa Command said a unit had come underneath “hostile fire” and was operative to endorse a details.

The US army has been providing training to Niger’s army to assistance fight Islamist militants in a region, including a North African bend of al-Qaeda.

The militants are many active in beside Mali, where French infantry intervened in 2013 to forestall them advancing on a capital.

The Boko Haram group, formed in Nigeria to a south, has also staged several attacks in Niger.

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

According to a New York Times, quoting a infantry official, 3 Army Green Berets – US army special army – were killed in a waylay that took place 120 miles (193km) north of Niamey, a collateral of Niger.

The paper pronounced they were a initial American casualties to die from antagonistic glow given a US Africa Command deployed in Niger.

Two bleeding US soldiers are in fast condition and will be flown to Germany for treatment, CNN reports.

An central from Niger’s Tillaberi segment told Reuters that 5 Nigerien soldiers were among a dead.

Officials were incompetent to contend who dismissed on a soldiers.

Militants belonging to al-Qaeda in a Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – an associate of al-Qaeda – are active in a segment and are famous to have conducted cross-border raids.

Scale of jihadist threat

By Tommy Oladipo, BBC Africa confidence correspondent

This conflict will pull courtesy to a participation of US troops, not only in Niger though in other countries too. In a minute to Congress in June, President Trump reliable there were 645 infantry crew deployed to Niger to support counterterrorism missions there.

The US has prolonged confirmed that a infantry play a “train, advise and assist” purpose with a partners, either in a Sahel or a Horn of Africa. Its confirmation that a infantry in south-west Niger were carrying out a “joint patrol” with internal army is being explained as a US providing “security assistance” though it is not transparent how broadly this assistance is defined.

The conflict also highlights a scale of a jihadist hazard in Niger, a immeasurable republic with a sundry jihadist participation – Boko Haram in Nigeria, militants related to both al-Qaeda and supposed Islamic State in Mali, and doubt from inconstant Libya in a north.

For as prolonged as a informal jihadist hazard remains, a US and other Western powers will continue to strengthen their participation on a ground. Their target, a jihadists, will also be encouraged to take them on.