US, Niger teams visit site to learn about soldiers' ambush

These images provided by the U.S. Army show, from left, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, Fla.; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga. A senior U.S. defense official says the military suspects that American special forces were ambushed in Niger after someone in the village they visited told enemy fighters they were in the area. The Army Green Berets and about 30 Niger forces stopped in a village for an hour or two to get food and water after conducting an overnight reconnaissance mission. All four were killed in Niger, when a joint patrol of American and Niger forces was ambushed by militants believed linked to the Islamic State group. (U.S. Army via AP)

The U.S. Africa Command says it has sent a joint team with the Niger military to the village of Tongo Tongo to investigate the Oct. 4 attack by extremists that left four American and four Nigerien soldiers dead.

AFRICOM said Sunday that the on-site investigation is part of a wider review across the U.S., Africa and Europe and by multiple agencies to determine how the attack took place.

The U.S. command team is interviewing residents around Tonga Tonga, visiting relevant areas and retracing steps taken before the ambush.

The Pentagon has said its investigation won't be finished until at least January.

Questions have arisen over whether the soldiers' commando unit was carrying out its assigned mission when it was ambushed about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Niamey.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off