Is­lamic State off­shoot claims 2017 at­tack

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Nation + World -

DAKAR, SENE­GAL » An Is­lamic State group off­shoot claims it car­ried out an Oc­to­ber at­tack in Niger that killed four U.S. sol­diers and four Nige­rien troops and sparked ques­tions about U.S. mil­i­tary in­volve­ment in West Africa’s vast Sa­hel re­gion.

The Mau­ri­ta­nian Nouakchott News Agency re­ported Fri­day that Abu al-Walid alSahrawi with the self-pro­fessed IS af­fil­i­ate claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Oct. 4 am­bush about 120 miles north of Niger’s cap­i­tal, Ni­amey. The news agency has car­ried mes­sages from the af­fil­i­ate be­fore, ac­cord­ing to the SITE In­tel­li­gence Group, which mon­i­tors ji­hadist web­sites.

The U.S. Africa Com­mand has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the at­tack, which also wounded two U.S. and eight Nige­rien troops. A 12-mem­ber Army spe­cial forces unit ac­com­pa­nied 30 Nige­rien forces when they were at­tacked in a densely wooded area by up to 50 mil­i­tants trav­el­ing by ve­hi­cle and car­ry­ing small arms and rocket-pro­pelled grenade launch­ers.

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