After an extensive search, a US soldier who had been missing for almost two days in Niger has been found dead, a result of a deadly ambush by dozens of Islamic extremists on a joint patrol of American and Niger forces, USA officials said Friday.
Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, was from Puyallup, Washington.
The Department of Defense announced Friday that three Green Berets were killed Wednesday in Niger.
Eight Niger soldiers and two U.S. troops were wounded in the attack, but they were evacuated from the area on Wednesday after the attack unfolded.
A USA official told CNN that initial indications are the soldiers were ambushed by up to 50 fighters who are thought to be affiliated with ISIS. In a statement, U.S. Africa Command said the forces were with a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol north of Niamey, near the Mali border, when they came under hostile fire.
"U.S. Forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region", said U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr.
Microsoft enters streaming partnership with Spotify
Launch the Groove application on a compatible device and sign in to your account if you are asked to do so. To its merit, Microsoft will at least help Groove Music users transition into a new streaming service .
The two injured U.S. soldiers had been evacuated to the Landstuhul Regional Medical Centre in Germany and were in a stable condition, it added.
"The deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright are a tragic reminder of the dangers facing our fearless service members as they combat terrorism across the globe to keep our country safe".
Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou and the U.S. Ambassador to Niger Eunice S. Reddik met before Issoufou presided over a meeting of the National Security Council made up of senior officers and ministers.
There are about 800 US military personnel in Niger helping that country's counterterrorism efforts against extremist groups.
The incident is under investigation. His awards and decorations included the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, and Parachutist Badge.
Wright served as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (18C).