US officials say three US Army special operations commandos were killed Wednesday and two others were wounded when they came under fire in southwest Niger. The officials say the two wounded were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are in stable condition, the AP reports. The officials say the commandos, who were Green Berets, were likely attacked by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb militants. In a statement, US Africa Command said the American forces were on a joint patrol with Nigerien Armed Forces troops north of Niamey, near the Mali border, when they came under hostile fire.
Africa Command said the US forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists. The White House says President Trump was notified about the attack Wednesday night as he flew aboard Air Force One from Las Vegas to Washington. The military says the two wounded soldiers will soon be transported to Germany for medical treatment, CNN reports. (Read more Niger stories.)