Ohioan among 3 U.S. commandos killed in attack in Niger

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The three Special Forces soldiers killed in an ambush attack in Niger on Wednesday were stationed at Fort Bragg, the Department of Defense said Friday.

Shortly after releasing the names of the deceased Green Berets and soldiers from the ambush that occurred in the Tongo Tongo region of southwestern Niger.

As reported before the Green Berets found themselves returning from a joint US advised direct action raid on suspected area known for terrorist activity Wednesday, when they were hit by an enemy force of 50 or more from what is a new wing of the Islamic State called The Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS). It's unclear which group ambushed the joint U.S. -Nigerien patrol because various extremist groups operate along the Niger-Mali border area, including Ansar Dine, an al Qaeda-affiliated extremist group, and ISIS-West Africa.

The statement said the deaths and injuries came "after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage".

"U.S. Forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region", said U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr.

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The joint patrol of USA and Niger forces were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders and were in trucks. "This is about black market resources which terrorists use to gain revenue that helps them recruit, expand and export attacks", the official said.

The incident is under investigation.

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. He enlisted in the Army in July 2012, and served as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Black of Puyallup, Washington, who enlisted in the Army in October 2009, was a Green Beret serving as a Special Forces medical sergeant. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, was from Springboro, Ohio.

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