Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded in an ambush in Niger on Wednesday while on a routine patrol with troops they were training from the West African nation, American military officials said. “We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said in an email on Wednesday.

A United States military official said that the three Army Green Berets were killed in the attack. It took place 120 miles north of Niamey, the capital of Niger, near the border of Mali, where militants with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, have conducted cross-border raids. Two other Green Berets were wounded, another American military official said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the casualties publicly. READ MORE