4th United States servicemember is dead from Wednesday attack in Niger
07 October, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Ora Austin
Another group, which emerged in 2013, the al-Qaida-linked Al Mourabitoun, active in Niger, Mali and Libya, claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 20 people at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the Malian capital, in 2015. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of the deceased".
Right now little is known as to whether this USA service member went with the other group of Americans and was separated from them, or if he was captured early on in the raid and killed at the hands of terrorists of the Islamic State.
Terrorist groups-including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS-have reportedly been traveling across the Niger-Mali border to trade black market goods to help finance their activities.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, which costs about $1 billion annually, is the U.N.'s deadliest mission, with more than 120 service members killed in the last four years.
Two other American soldiers were wounded, but they have not been identified. Four Niger security forces were also killed.
A diplomat with knowledge of the incident said French officials were frustrated by the USA troops' actions, saying they had acted on only limited intelligence and without contingency plans in place.
Mamane contributed to this story from Niamey, Niger.
The U.S. and Niger forces were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders when they were ambushed.
Washington has long seen the Sahel as a security threat but involvement increased in the wake of a 2012 occupation of northern Mali by Islamist militants. About 300 to the south in Cameroon provide logistical and intelligence support.
The U.S. military organises an annual, high-profile U.S. drill as well as longer-term, more discreet training of regional forces.
"It is likely that there are other operations going on aside from just the training operations", said Andrew Lebovich, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
McKenzie said it appeared to be the first time American forces had come under fire in Niger, where some 800 U.S. troops are deployed, according to U.S. Africa Command.
Asked whether the USA forces had adequate protection, including readily available medical evacuation, McKenzie said rapid evacuation is a primary concern when developing any US mission.
"In Somalia, they over-reacted and withdrew their troops". Officials would not say how he died.
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