A 35-year-old military commando from Puyallup was among the three Green Berets killed Wednesday in Niger, Pentagon officials announced Friday morning.
Staff Sgt. Bryan Black of Puyallup was one of the three men killed when they came under fire in the southwest part of the African nation. Black was from the Fort Bragg-based 3rd Special Forces Group, as where the others: 39-year-old Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, from Springboro, Ohio, and 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, from Lyons, Georgia.
Officials said the commandos, who were Green Berets, were likely attacked by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb militants. Four Nigerien soldiers were also killed. Two American soldiers and eight Nigerien soldiers were injured.
The soldiers were conducting “an advice and assist mission” in support of Nigerien security forces, according to a statement released by the Pentagon. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said it was the first time American forces have been killed or wounded in combat in Niger.
Black enlisted in the Army in 2009, according to KOMO-TV, and served as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant.