WASHINGTON (AP/CNN) -Three members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed and two others were wounded in southwest Niger near the Mali-Niger border when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked Wednesday, two administration officials told CNN.
The officials say the two wounded were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are in stable condition. The officials were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.
The officials say the commandos were likely attacked by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb militants.
In a statement, U.S. Africa Command says the forces were with a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol north of Niamey, near the Mali border, when they came under hostile fire.
Africa Command says the U.S. forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists.