The U.S. military said on Friday (October 6) that a fourth soldier was killed during an attack on Wednesday (October 4) in Niger, raising the death toll from an incident that has thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counterterrorism mission in the West African nation.
The U.S. military on Friday published the names of the three Army Special Forces soldiers from 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) who were killed when their reconnaissance patrol with Nigerien forces came under fire.
They were Staff Sergeant Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio and Staff Sergeant Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.
The United States had previously announced that three U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers had been killed and another two wounded when a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol came under attack near the village of Tongo Tongo.
It did not disclose until Friday that a fourth soldier had been missing. Officials said his body was found by Nigerien forces on Friday morning near the site of the ambush, ending an extensive rescue and recovery mission.
No group has taken responsibility for the killings, although officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the United States suspects a local branch of Islamic State was responsible.
The U.S. military’s Africa Command declined to publicly name any group but said the American military would hunt down the insurgents.