AFRICOM, Nigerien investigation teams return to Tongo Tongo, Niger

A joint U.S. Africa Command and Niger military investigation team returned to the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger on Nov. 12 in order to gain a clearer understanding of the Oct. 4 ambush, the attack site and the surrounding environment.

This mission allowed the investigation team to gather information and determine the facts related to the ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers and four Niger Force Soldiers.

The onsite investigation is just one part of the General Officer-led Army 15-6 investigation spanning three continents and multiple agencies.

As part of its mission, the AFRICOM investigation team interviewed local villagers; conducted a physical examination of multiple areas of interest related to the attack; and retraced actions leading up to, during and after this ambush.

AFRICOM is committed to carrying out a thorough and comprehensive investigation to ensure the families of the fallen understand what happened and how U.S. and Niger forces can learn from it. We will continue to pursue those who perpetrated this ambush.

The safety and security of our personnel, our partner forces and civilians in the region was of paramount importance during this mission. We went to great lengths during this mission to protect operational security and to ensure we were able to accomplish the operation with minimal impact on the local citizens. Sufficient assets were available in the event we had to respond to an attack that threatened innocent civilians, our partner forces or our own personnel.

AFRICOM will continue to investigate the details surrounding this ambush until we are satisfied that we have learned everything that we can from this incident.