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Tuesday 20th March 2018

US Army Vehicle Damaged in Mine Explosion in Niger

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London - AFP

Sun, 09 Jun 2019 16:00 GMT

A US army vehicle was damaged in a mine explosion in western Niger, however no fatalities were reported. The US military was investigating whether the incident was hostile, embassy and local security forces said on Sunday, June 9th, according to AFP.

The incident occurred in Ouallam in the Tillaberi region, not far from the border with Mali, where four US soldiers and five Niger soldiers were killed in an ambush in 2017, according to sources.

"A US mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicle was damaged in Niger" on Saturday, June 8th, the US embassy in Niamey announced in a statement.

"The incident occurred outside a weapons range, so it is possible that non-hostile factors were the cause of the damage. We're still looking to confirm that element," it commented. 

The US mission in Niger has been closely and thoroughly examined in the wake of the 2017 attack.

In the October 4th ambush, US special forces soldiers, and Niger troops were attacked by militants affiliated with Isis, and equipped with small arms, grenades and trucks mounted with guns.

The US Pentagon has remained reticent about the circumstances surrounding the ambush and the nature of the mission in Niger.

The US operates an aerial drone base in Agadez that provides surveillance of Boko Haram fighters, and others allied with Al-Qaeda, that operate along the borders with Libya, Mali and Niger.

According to the Niger government, 28 Niger soldiers were killed near the village of Tongo Tongo, where they were ambushed by heavily- armed terrorists, on May 14th, 2019.

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