From left, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. The body of a fourth US soldier has also been recovered.
Four elite soldiers in the US Army Special Forces, known as Green Berets, were killed this week when they were ambushed by armed militants during a joint mission with Nigerien forces.
Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 25, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, were on a reconnaissance patrol Wednesday when they came under hostile fire, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.
The body of a fourth soldier was recovered Friday, raising the death toll of the attack to four, a Pentagon spokesperson said. That soldier has not been identified.
“The body of another U.S. service member has been recovered from the area of the attack, bringing the number of U.S. service members killed in this attack to four,” Col. Rob Manning, Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement.
Five Nigerien soldiers were also killed, according to CNN.
Pentagon officials released little information publicly about how the Green Beret soldiers were killed. The four deaths are the first known casualties of American forces in Niger, where the US is conducting train and assist operations.
Officials said US and Nigerien troops were conducting a reconnaissance patrol when the attack occurred and the incident is now under investigation.
French Super Puma helicopters provided some cover to soldiers while it evacuated those wounded in the attack, according to CNN.
As of Friday afternoon, President Trump had not issued a statement or tweet about the incident.
Black was identified as a native of Puyallup, Washington, who enlisted in Oct. 2009. Johnson enlisted in Oct. 2007 and was a native of Springboro, Ohio. Wright was a native of Lyons, Georgia, and joined the Army in July 2012.
All three were assigned to Fort Bragg in North Carolina.