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Niger Islamic State hostage: 'They want to kill foreign soldiers'

Guardian investigation sheds light on little known Isis-affiliated group that killed four US soldiers last year

When a team of American special forces hunting Islamic State fighters in Niger was ambushed and four of its soldiers killed, the attack last October was described as “a total tactical surprise” by the commander of US Africa Command.

Their deaths became a political scandal in Washington – where there was little awareness of US military operations in the region – and became notorious when Donald Trump, in a condolence call, told the widow of one of the dead soldiers that he “knew what he signed up for”.

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