WASHINGTON — Three US Army Green Berets were killed and two were wounded Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a routine patrol with troops they were training in northwestern Africa, US military officials said.
The attack took place 120 miles north of Niamey, the capital of Niger, near the border with Mali, where militants with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have conducted cross-border raids.
A military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss continuing military operations, said US forces were rushing to the scene of the ambush, presumably to evacuate more casualties, and possibly to hunt down the attackers.
Unlike recent commando raids in Somalia or Reaper drone strikes in Libya, the deadly ambush Wednesday in a remote desert area came during what US military officials said was a routine training mission — not a combat operation — and yet the
casualties underscore the inherent risks of operating in a potentially hostile environment.