3 U.S. soldiers killed in ambush in southwest Niger

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Several soldiers, including three U.S. service members, were killed on Wednesday when a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol came under attack in southwest Niger, the U.S. military confirmed on Thursday.

The incident happened on late Wednesday afternoon when U.S. special forces were providing advice and assistance to Nigerien security forces in an area about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital Niamey.

Specific details about the circumstances of the attack were not immediately released, but U.S. Africa Command said 3 U.S. service members were killed and 2 other U.S. service members were injured. Both were said to be in stable condition and flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

U.S. Africa Command said 1 “partner nation member” was also killed in the attack, although it was unclear whether it was referring to Nigerien forces or soldiers from another country. A Nigerien security official told CNN that 5 Nigerien soldiers were among the dead.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, but it happened in an area close to Niger-Mali border, an area where al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is active.

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