hree U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers were killed and two others were wounded Wednesday in an ambush in the west African country of Niger.
U.S. Africa Command confirmed that a joint patrol of Green Berets and Nigerien soldiers was attacked in the southwestern part of Niger, near the border with Mali. Officials told Fox News that between eight and 10 troops were part of the patrol.
Officials told the Associated Press that the commandos were likely attacked by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The officials added that the two wounded U.S. soldiers were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are in stable condition.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump had been briefed on the ambush by Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Africa Command says the U.S. forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists.
Niger, a former French colony, is one of the poorest nations in the world. In April, the State Department issued a travel warning advising American citizens against visiting the landlocked country’s border regions, including the area where the ambush took place.
“Due to security concerns and travel restrictions, the U.S. Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in remote and rural areas is very limited,” read the statement, which also warned of the possibility of kidnapping.