RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Department of Defense said the three Special Forces soldiers killed in Niger on Wednesday were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.
Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia, DoD said.
Four Nigerien soldiers were also killed in the attack by Mali-based militants in Niger’s Tillaberi region.
Eight Niger soldiers and two U.S. soldiers were wounded, according to a statement by Niger’s Army Chief of Staff.
“A joint patrol of the Defense and Security Forces and American partners operating in the border area of Mali fell into an ambush set by terrorist elements aboard a dozen vehicles and about twenty motorcycles,” the statement said. The deaths and injuries came “after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage.”
The statement welcomed “the constant commitment of the American partners in the fight against terrorism.”
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou and the U.S. Ambassador to Niger Eunice S. Reddik met before Issoufou presided over a meeting of the National Security Council made up of senior officers and ministers.
“Our country is once again the target of a terrorist attack, with a large number of victims,” Niger’s president said earlier Thursday.