WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senior U.S. defense official says the military suspects that American commandos were ambushed in Niger after someone in the village they visited told enemy fighters they were in the area.
The Army Green Berets and about 30 Niger forces stopped in a village for an hour or two to get food and water after conducting an overnight reconnaissance mission. After they left they were ambushed by about 50 enemy fighters, killing four Americans and wounding two.
The official says the joint patrol was asked to help a second commando team that was hunting for a senior member of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The ambushed commandos were collecting information near where the insurgent had last been seen.
The official wasn't authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke anonymously.