RALEIGH, N.C. — The three Special Forces soldiers killed in an ambush attack in Niger on Wednesday were stationed at Fort Bragg, the Department of Defense said Friday.
They were identified as Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia, according to WNCN.
Five Nigerien soldiers were killed in the attack. In addition, eight Niger soldiers and two U.S. soldiers were wounded.
A US official told CNN that initial indications are the soldiers were ambushed by up to 50 fighters who are thought to be affiliated with ISIS.
“A joint patrol of the Defense and Security Forces and American partners operating in the border area of Mali fell into an ambush set by terrorist elements aboard a dozen vehicles and about twenty motorcycles,” a statement by Niger’s Army chief of staff read. The deaths and injuries came “after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage.”