NIAMEY, Niger — The body of Sergeant La David Johnson, one of four US soldiers killed in an ambush by Islamist militants in Niger last month, was found with his arms tied and a gaping head wound, according to two villagers, suggesting that he may have been captured and then executed.
Adamou Boubacar, a 23-year-old farmer and trader, said some children tending cattle found the remains of the soldier Oct. 6, two days after the attack outside the remote Niger village of Tongo Tongo, which also left five Nigerien soldiers dead.
When Boubacar went to the location, a bushy area roughly a mile from the ambush site, he saw Johnson’s body lying face down, he said. The back of his head had been smashed by something, possibly a bullet, said Boubacar.
The soldier’s wrists were bound with rope, he said, raising the possibility that the militants — whom the Pentagon suspects were affiliated with the Islamic State — seized Johnson during the firefight and held him captive.