Oct. 6 (UPI) — Nigerien troops found the body of a U.S. service member who went missing during an attack, bringing the U.S. death toll in the ambush up to four, military officials said Friday.
A squad of about 10 to 12 members of the U.S. Army Special Forces were on a joint patrol with the Nigerien military near Niger’s border with Mali on Wednesday when they came under attack. Three U.S. Green Berets were reported dead and two others injured.
U.S. military officials told CNN one service member was missing until his body was found in southwest Niger.
“The body of another U.S. service member has been recovered from the area of the attack, bringing the number of U.S. service members killed in this attack to four,” Col. Rob Manning, Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the president was notified of the fourth victim on Thursday.
“Any time one of the members of our great military are injured, wounded or killed in action, that is certainly something that we take very seriously,” she said, adding that “our thoughts and prayers are with those individuals.”
Asked if there would be any reprisals in Niger in response to the attack, she said, “we’re continuing to review and look into this.”
The Department of Defense on Friday identified three of the soldiers killed as Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga. The soldiers were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, N.C.
The two injured soldiers were transported to Germany for treatment.