US officials announced that three US Army special operations commandos were killed Wednesday and two others were injured when they were ambushed in southwest Niger.
The officials said the two wounded commandos were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are fortunately, in stable condition.
The officials say they were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.
The officials said the commandos, who were Green Berets, may have been attacked by Al Qaeda terrorists in the Islamic Maghreb.
In a statement, US Africa Command said the forces were with a joint US and Nigerien patrol just north of Niamey, near the Mali border, when they came under hostile fire.
Africa Command said the US forces were in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists.