An American soldier killed in an ambush in Niger with three comrades however recovered days later wasn’t captured alive by the enemy or executed at shut vary, The Related Press has discovered, based mostly on the conclusion of a army investigation.
Dispelling a swirl of rumors about how Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, died, the report has decided that he was killed by enemy rifle and machine gun hearth as he fled the assault by an offshoot of the Islamic State group about one hundred twenty miles (200 kilometers) north of Niamey, the capital of the African nation. The assault passed off Oct. four; Johnson’s physique was recovered two days later.
U.S. officers accustomed to the findings spoke to the AP on situation of anonymity to explain particulars of an investigation that has not been finalized or publicly launched.
A 12-member Military particular forces unit was accompanying 30 Nigerien forces once they have been attacked in a densely wooded space by as many as 50 militants touring by car and carrying small arms and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
The officers acquainted with the investigation stated Johnson was hit as many as 18 occasions from a distance by a volley of machine gun rounds, and that he was returning hearth as he and two Nigerien troopers tried to flee.
All informed, 4 U.S. troopers and 4 Nigerien troops have been killed within the ambush. Two U.S. and eight Nigerien troops have been wounded.
The our bodies of three U.S. Inexperienced Berets have been situated on the day of the assault, however not Johnson’s stays. The hole in time led to questions on whether or not Johnson was killed within the assault and never discovered, or if he was taken away by the enemy.
Based on the officers, a medical examination concluded that Johnson was hit by hearth from M-four rifles — in all probability stolen by the insurgents — and Soviet-made heavy machine weapons. It’s believed he died within the assault.
The officers stated Johnson was discovered beneath thick scrub brush the place he tried to take cowl. There have been no indications he was shot at shut vary, or had been sure or taken prisoner, as a number of media reviews have prompt.
A U.S. Africa Command started its investigation with a group headed by Military Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, the command’s chief of employees. The workforce visited places in Niger to gather proof and details about the assault, and can quickly submit a draft of Cloutier’s report back to Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, head of Africa Command. Waldhauser might ask for extra info. The ultimate report is predicted to be launched subsequent month.
The officers accustomed to the report’s conclusions stated that in the course of the assault, Johnson and two Nigerien troopers tried to get to a car to flee, however have been unable to take action, turned separated from the others and have been shot as they have been operating for security.
The report concluded that Johnson, who was athletic and a runner, was within the lead and received the farthest away, in search of cowl within the brush. Officers stated there have been quite a few enemy shells round Johnson,…