U.S. Army special forces soldiers die in ambush in Niger

- Four U.S. Army special forces soldiers and four Niger troops were killed in an ambush in Niger this week, according to U.S. authorities.

The U.S. Army believes that ISIS-affiliated fighters ambushed a joint U.S.-Niger patrol about 120 miles north of Niamey, Niger's capital, as the troops were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders on October 4.

The military identified three of the American soldiers as Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, all assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The identity of the fourth U.S. soldier who died has not yet been released. He was missing for two days after the attack, but Niger forces found his body Friday.

The American Green Berets are in Niger to help train the local armed forces in the fight against extremist militants.

With the Associated Press

Release from United States Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Three U.S. Soldiers were killed while conducting operations in the country of Niger in West Africa, Oct. 4, 2017. Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, died from wounds sustained during enemy contact. All three Soldiers were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) on Fort Bragg.

The incident is currently under investigation.

Black, a native of Puyallup, Washington, enlisted in the Army in October 2009. His awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge - Sharpshooter with Rifle. Staff Sgt. Black served as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D).

Johnson, a native of Springboro, Ohio, enlisted in the Army in October 2007. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge - Expert with Pistol and Rifle. Staff Sgt. Johnson served as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist (74D).

Wright, a native of Lyons, Georgia, enlisted in the Army in July 2012. His awards and decorations include the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, and Parachutist Badge. Staff Sgt. Wright served as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (18C).

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