A swarm of motorbikes, then heavy fire: testimony sheds new light on Niger attack

According to locals, ambushed US special forces faced overwhelming, sustained attack from militants – and Nigerien authorities failed to react when alerted

New details of the attack in which four US special forces and four Nigerien soldiers were killed by militants suggest that they fought alone against a far superior force for hours – despite repeated calls for help by local villagers.

Testimony collected by the Guardian suggests that soldiers ambushed in Niger last month faced an overwhelming and coordinated attack – but one that might have been cut short if Nigerien authorities had reacted as soon as they were called.

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