The United States has quietly moved scores of additional troops in recent months into Niger, home to the second-largest contingent of American servicemembers on the African continent, and an operational anchor for an increasingly dangerous counter-terrorism mission.
U.S. operations in Niger provide support for local troops in the fight against extremist groups such as Boko Haram and al-Qaida in the Maghreb. The mission’s risks were highlighted Wednesday when four U.S. servicemembers were killed while on patrol.
There are now about 800 U.S. troops working in Niger, up from 645 in June, according to U.S. Africa Command. Only the small east African nation of Djibouti, home to the U.S.’s major troop hub Camp Lemonnier, has more forces, with roughly 4,000 personnel.