Nigerien Mayor: US Army Special Forces were lured into a trap by terrorists

A U.S. Army Special Forces weapons sergeant provides feedback to a Niger Army soldier during marksmanship training as part of Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, Feb. 28, 2017. Niger was one of seven nations throughout North and West Africa to host the exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Klutts/released)

New details are coming out of Africa concerning the attack in Niger that killed for US Soldiers, including several members of the US Army Special Forces.

Four US Soldiers and four Nigerien Special Forces troops were killed in an ambush on October 4 in the village of Tongo-Tongo, which is near the border with Mali.

Around 30 Special Forces troops -including eight Americans- were rolling in pickup trucks toward Tongo-Tongo and set up camp, according to Tongo-Tongo Mayor, Almou Hassane.

“They must have spent the night in the northwest of Tongo-Tongo,” Mayor Hassane said in a phone interview with the VOA French-to-Africa service.

The Nigerien special troops were learning new tricks under the watchful eyes of the Americans.

“These Nigerien soldiers are part of a security and intelligence battalion that has been trained by the U.S. forces during several U.S.-led training exercises known as Flintlock,” said Moussa Aksar, director of the newspaper l’Évènement in Niamey.

“It turns out that this village was a little contaminated by hostile forces,” said Aksar. “The unit stayed a little longer than expected because apparently people were aware that something was going on.”

According to the Mayor, The attackers, the bandits, the terrorists have never lacked accomplices among local populations.”

All Africa reported that a feint attack lured the troops to a trap outside the villages, where a motorized troop of 50 militants opened fire on the coalition troops with heavy weapons and automatic fire.

The incident has raised questions on how the Americans did not know about the ambush, especially considering the presence of US drone bases in Niger.

“That’s what really shocked us: how, at their level, with all the resources they have, they could not have strong intelligence to avoid what happened there,” said Hassane.

Local sources are placing he blame on Abu Adnan al-Saharaoui of the Islamic State franchise, who calls himself the Islamic Emir of the Great Sahara.

Al-Saharaoui is well known for trafficking fuel, arms and personnel, as well as kidnapping.

“He wants to take control of all these communities facing poverty and governance issues so that they can join his cause,” said Aksar.

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