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Boats 04-23-2018 11:14 AM

Pentagon completes probe into ambush deaths of 4 US soldiers in Niger
Pentagon completes probe into ambush deaths of 4 US soldiers in Niger
By Jamie McIntyre - April 23, 2018 12:56 PM

The U.S. military’s investigation into last year’s ambush in Niger, in which four U.S. soldiers were killed, has been completed and the notification of families has begun, the Pentagon said Monday.

“We’re currently in the process of briefing the families of those fallen soldiers in order to provide them with the results of the investigation," said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.

Manning said the military's first obligation was to conduct a comprehensive investigation to give the families as much detail as possible about what went wrong.

Once the families have been informed, Manning said the Pentagon will brief Congress and then release the results of the investigation to the public in a Pentagon press conference that could come as soon as this week.

Last month, The Associated Press quoted sources saying a preliminary draft of the investigation concluded that U.S. special operations forces went on a risky mission to capture a high-level Islamic State militant without the required senior command approval, but did not blame the death of the four U.S. troops on that failure.

Four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien troops were killed when they came under attack from as many as 100 ISIS-linked fighters Oct. 4 about 120 miles north of Niger’s capital of Niamey.

The AP reports the attack occurred after the American troops determined the ISIS militant they were looking for had left the area and the special forces team stopped in the village of Tongo Tongo for supplies.

It said the preliminary report found no single point of failure and drew no conclusion about whether the local villagers alerted ISIS to the presence of U.S. forces in the area.

The four Americans killed were Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson and Dustin Wright, along with Sgt. La David Johnson.

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