A Nigerien soldier walks out of a house that residents say a Boko Haram militant had forcefully seized and occupied in Damasak March 24, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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U.S. and Niger troops killed 11 Islamist militants from a Boko Haram splinter group in a firefight in December, the U.S. military said Thursday, publicly acknowledging a previously unreported incident.The fight took place two months after four American and four local soldiers were killed in Niger, and could prompt further questions about the extent of the little-reported U.S. mission in West Africa.The deaths of the four Americans in an ambush in Niger in October brought international and domestic attention to the U.S. mission to combat Islamist militants in the Sahel, the arid region south of the Sahara.A regional branch of Daesh (ISIS) claimed responsibility for that attack, which also led to a political fight between U.S. President Donald Trump and a congresswoman who accused him of speaking insensitively to the widow of one of those killed.
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