BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The Islamic militants came on motorcycles toting rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns, killing four American service members after shattering the windows of the unarmored U.S. trucks. In this remote corner of Niger where the Americans and their local counterparts had been meeting with community leaders, residents say the men who came to kill that day had never been seen there before. “The attackers spoke Arabic and Tamashek, and were light-skinned,” Baringay Aghali, told The Associated Press by phone from the remote village of Tongo-Tongo. Who were these men and how did they know the Americans would be there that day? No extremist group has claimed responsibility for the deadly ambush on Oct. 4 and the languages reportedly spoken by the jihadists are used throughout the Sahel including Tamashek, spoken by ethnic Tuaregs. The ambush of U.S. troops in Niger has been the center of controversy in America because President Donald Trump has been criticized in some quarters, including by one grieving family directly, for the way he spoke to the wife of one of the soldiers slain in that operation. The Niger attack appears to be the work of the Islamic State of the Sahel,… Read full this story
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