Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
New details emerge about death of U.S. soldiers in Niger ambush

By Idrissa Fall Bagassi Koura on 22/10/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 936

•L to R: Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. Dustin Wright; Sgt. La David Johnson and Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson
•L to R: Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. Dustin Wright; Sgt. La David Johnson and Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson

New details are emerging about the attack that left four U.S. soldiers dead in Niger as U.S. congressional leaders are demanding answers from the Pentagon.

The four U.S. service members, three of whom were Green Berets (special forces), along with four Nigerian soldiers were killed on October 4 in an ambush in Tongo-Tongo, a village near the border with Mali.

On the eve of the attack, about 30 Special Forces, mostly Nigeriens and eight U.S. Green Berets, set off in pickup trucks toward the border village and arrived at night, according to Almou Hassane, mayor of Tongo-Tongo, in the Tondikiwindi district.

“They must have spent the night in the northwest of Tongo-Tongo,” Mayor Hassane said in a phone interview with the VOA French-to-Africa service.

“These Nigerien soldiers are part of a security and intelligence battalion that has been trained by the U.S. forces during several U.S.-led training exercises known as Flintlock,” said Moussa Aksar, director of the newspaper l'Évènement in Niamey, and a terrorism specialist in the Sahel.

The soldiers were trying to track down an accomplice of Abu Adnan al-Sahraoui, a former member of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), who joined the Islamic State terror group in the Sahara Desert.

The soldiers questioned the villagers, who dragged on the discussions longer than anticipated.

“It turns out that this village was a little contaminated by hostile forces,” said Aksar. “The unit stayed a little longer than expected because apparently people were aware that something was going on.”

For his part, Mayor Hassane said, “The attackers, the bandits, the terrorists have never lacked accomplices among local populations.”

A fake terror attack attracted the soldiers to a trap outside the village, where about 50 assailants in vehicles and motorcycles armed with Kalashnikovs and heavy weapons opened fire on them. Four Nigerien soldiers and three Americans were killed on the spot. The body of the fourth American soldier was found 48 hours later, about a mile away from the initial site, CNN reported.

“We are not talking about civilians wounded or killed because these soldiers were ambushed outside the village,” Aksar said.

The attack has raised questions, especially since the U.S. Army operates drone bases in Niger and has significant intelligence resources there.

“That’s what really shocked us: how, at their level, with all the resources they have, they could not have strong intelligence to avoid what happened there,” said Hassane.

Since the attack, Tongo-Tongo village chief Mounkaila Alassane has been arrested, and there is no information on his whereabouts.

No group has officially taken responsibility for the attack. According to sources in the region, however, it is the work of Abu Adnan al-Saharaoui, who calls himself the Islamic Emir of the Great Sahara, affiliated with the Islamic State group.

According to a Tuareg from the region, al-Saharaoui is reported to be involved in arms and fuel trafficking. He is a former member of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), which occupied and imposed sharia law in northern Mali in 2012 before being dislodged by French forces.

Al-Saharaoui, a former acquaintance of Algerian extremist and trafficker Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar, had led the kidnapping of the nine-person staff of the Algerian consulate in Gao in 2012. Originally from Western Sahara, he wants to control the band on the common border of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

“He wants to take control of all these communities facing poverty and governance issues so that they can join his cause,” said Aksar.

The group is the latest of several jihadist organisations in the Sahel region, including the Defenders of Islam group linked to militant Iyad Ag Ghali in northern Mali. The movement for the Liberation of Macina, led by Hamadoun Koufa, remained very active in central Mali.

Ansarul Islam, on the other side of the border, is increasing its attacks in northern Burkina Faso, while Boko Haram continues to launch attacks in the countries in Africa's Lake Chad Basin.

The al-Mourabitoun group, which is led by Moktar Belmokhtar — declared dead several times — has perpetrated several terror actions in the vast Sahel region, including the 2013 attack on the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria that left 67 people dead. (VOA)


Source News Express

Posted 22/10/2017 09:41:46 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Shipowners back Dakuku to lead African maritime revival...

GOCOP president emerges LG chairman

Anambra Govt. urges traders to take advantage of...

Nigeria, France to strengthen agreements in defence matters...

67 people to pay $250,000 each to sleep...

Buhari’s second term plot worse than June 12,...

We’ll ensure passage of bill on age reduction...

Benue govt tasks revenue collecting firms on prompt...

HURIWA condemns attack on Senators Melaye, Urhoghide by...

Amnesty Boss engages Delta stakeholders on security of...

Zaki Biam Attack: Ortom vows to bring perpetrators...

DPR vows to curb production of fake lubricants...

 

Latest News Toxicity of soccer racism 2023: No Igbo presidency, no Nigeria — South East activists Labour unfolds plans to disgrace debtor-governors Tension in South East as Police, IPOB engage in show of force Bandits kill 22 in fresh Zamfara attack Rivers Tragedy: Father kills four children, sets home ablaze, hangs self Ndigbo must return home during elections — MASSOB Nigerians open one million bank accounts monthly: NIBSS Déjà vu: I fear it will be unto Buhari as it was unto Jonathan in 2015, By Fredrick Nwabufo Heirs Holdings signs $600m facility deal with Afrexim Bank, poised to scale up energy investments Delta First Lady calls for lasting solution to challenges facing education sector Why Atiku was absent at signing of Peace Accord — PDP

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (429,820 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (394,759 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (327,661 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (280,981 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (247,796 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (229,235 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (212,068 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (193,279 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (179,550 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (170,409 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (167,207 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (153,671 views)

 

Zenith Zero Balance First Bank chat banking

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (76) Business & Economy (3,874) Business Verdict (54) Columnists (973) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (208) Entertainment (575) Features (679) Global Business Monitor (312) International (2,810) Interview (167) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (146) Maggie's Blog (69) News (41,366) Opinion (1,150) Pidgin (13) Politics (8,132) Religion (911) Sports (1,817) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera