Mali militia say have US vehicle taken in Niger attack

2018-03-16 11:57
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Two Malian militia groups say they have recovered a US military vehicle and weapons that jihadist fighters seized after a deadly ambush of American special forces in neighbouring Niger in October.

The attack, which left four US troops dead, shed light on the scale of the US military presence in the Sahel and became a political issue in Washington.

The claim was made in a statement released on Wednesday by two armed groups, one of which in 2015 signed up to a peace deal with the Malian government pledging to join its fight against jihadists.

They said that in clashes with "the bandits," their fighters had recovered "a car and weapons belonging to the US special forces."

They want to return the equipment to the US authorities "by legal means," said the statement, adding that the fighting took place "on March 11-12."

It was issued by a group called GATIA, the acronym in French for the Imghad and Allies Touareg Self-Defence Force), which is pro-government, and the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), comprising former rebels.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

The US Africa Command (Africom), asked by AFP, said the Pentagon "is aware" of the claim.

"However, at this time cannot verify authenticity of the claims and are looking into it," it said.

The October 4 attack occurred as a unit of 12 American special forces soldiers and 30 Nigerien troops returned from the village of Tongo Tongo, near the border with Mali.

They were attacked by a group of some 50 IS-affiliated fighters equipped with small arms, grenades and trucks mounted with guns.

Four Nigerien soldiers also died. The body of one US soldier, Sergeant La David Johnson, was not recovered until the following day.

The ambush was claimed by a group calling itself the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, led by Adnan Abu Walid Sahrawi, who has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.

A nine-minute propaganda video by the jihadists showed US troops wearing only limited body armour, desperately seeking cover behind an unarmored SUV while coming under heavy fire.

It raised fresh questions as to the nature of the mission and why the soldiers had been left so vulnerable.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.