An ambush on US-Niger patrol left several dead

An ambush on a joint US-Niger patrol has left several soldiers dead, a security official said on Wednesday, as fears increase that a conflict in neighbouring Mali is spilling over the African nation’s border.
Three American special forces troops were among the dead, according to a New York Times report citing US military officials.
The attack marks the first US combat casualties in Niger, where Washington provides training and security assistance.
A local security official told AFP that the attack, which took place in the western Tillaberi region, close to the Mali border, also claimed the lives of several Niger soldiers.
The ambush was “probably a terrorist attack”, the official said.
“We have lost elements. The ambush attack by heavily armed men from Mali targeted a patrol of Nigerian and American soldiers – instructors,” a source in Tillaberi told AFP.
According to Radio France Internationale (RFI) the ambush took place after militants from Mali attacked the village of Tongo Tongo in Tillaberi on Wednesday.

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