DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — An Islamic State group offshoot is declaring it carried out the attack within Niger that killed four Oughout. S. soldiers and four Nigerien troops in October and started questions about U. S. army involvement in West Africa’s huge Sahel region.

The Mauritanian Nouakchott News Company reported Friday that Abu al-Walid al-Sahrawi with the self-professed IS affiliate marketer claimed responsibility for the Oct. four ambush about 120 miles (200 kilometers) north of Niger’s funds, Niamey. The news agency has transported messages from the affiliate before, based on the SITE Intelligence Group, which screens jihadist websites.

The U. T. Africa Command has been investigating the particular October attack, which also injured two U. S. and 8 Nigerien troops, and a final survey is expected to be released this particular month.

A 12-member Army particular forces unit had been accompanying thirty Nigerien forces when they were bombarded in a densely wooded area simply by as many as 50 militants traveling simply by vehicle and carrying small hands and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

The particular Pentagon has declined to release information about the commando team’s exact objective. U. S. officials have mentioned the joint U. S. -Niger patrol had been asked to assist another American commando team hunting for the senior Islamic State group associate. The team had been asked to visit a location where the insurgent had final been seen.

After completing that will mission, the troops stopped in the village to get food and water, after that left. The U. S. army believes someone in the village might have tipped off the attackers.

The Oughout. S. has approximately 800 soldiers in Niger, and U. H. special operations forces have been dealing with Niger’s forces in a growing work in recent years, helping them to improve their skills to fight extremists.

Multiple army efforts exist against extremist organizations, including Boko Haram and al-Qaida affiliates, that roam the huge Sahel, the sprawling, largely unwelcoming zone south of the Sahara wilderness. The growing fight includes France’s largest overseas military operation, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali and a five-nation regional force the G5 Sahel that launched this past year.

Officials have pointed out the danger plus difficulty of hunting down an foe in region the size of Europe.

The particular Mauritanian news agency on Fri also reported that the extremists stated responsibility for an attack Thursday on the French military convoy, and for a number of attacks in Niger and edge areas with Mali and Burkina Faso.