Smith Calls for Continued Vigilance on Jihadist Threat in Africa’s Sahel
Members of a joint United States-Niger patrol were ambushed in a fatal attack Wednesday in southeastern Niger while they were responding to an assault by a jihadist group on the town of Tongo Tongo, an incident that demonstrates the need for continued international attention to the growing militant Islamist threat in Africa’s Sahel region, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs committee and Chairman of the House panel on Africa.
Three U.S soldiers were among the killed, along with five Nigerien troops, and several other soldiers in the patrol were wounded.
“Niger and the other countries in the Sahel are under constant threat from armed, militant groups,” Smith said. “The United States has been helping Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon to fight the Boko Haram insurgency, but we must remain vigilant and responsive to the ongoing jihadist threat from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb out of Mali and ISIS attacks out of Libya.”