WASHINGTON (AP) – A U.S. military official says it believes someone in a Niger village may have tipped off attackers to the presence of U.S. commandos and Nigerien forces, setting in motion the ambush that killed four Americans.
The official says the Army Green Berets and about 30 Niger forces stopped in the village for an hour or two to get food and water. After they left, they were ambushed by about 50 heavily armed enemy fighters, who also killed four Nigerien fighters.
According to the official, the joint patrol was asked to help a second American commando team that had been hunting for a senior member of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the incident publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.