Decoding the U.S. Mission in Niger

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said in a news conference on Tuesday he wants to wait for the results of the full investigation into the ambush earlier this month in Niger that killed four U.S. servicemembers before commenting on what may or may not have happened.

Dunford told reporters on Monday that 12 Americans and 30 Nigeriens had embarked on a reconaissance mission in northern Niger. He would not comment on Tuesday on speculations that the mission of the joint U.S. and Niger patrol had changed to help a second American team hunt for a senior member of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb believed to be in the area. He also said he had no knowledge of any possible CIA involvement in the mission.

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