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Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 4:46 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 4:46 AM
DAKAR, Senegal — An Islamic State group offshoot is claiming it carried out the October attack in Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien troops and sparked questions about U.S. military involvement in West Africa's vast Sahel region.
The Mauritanian Nouakchott News Agency reported Friday that Abu al-Walid al-Sahrawi with the self-professed IS affiliate claimed responsibility for the Oct. 4 ambush about 120 miles (200 kilometers) north of Niger's capital, Niamey. The news agency has carried messages from the affiliate before, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites.
The U.S. Africa Command has been investigating the attack, which also wounded two U.S. and eight Nigerien troops. A final report is expected to be released this month.
A 12-member Army special forces unit was accompanying 30 Nigerien forces when they were attacked in a densely wooded area by as many as 50 militants traveling by vehicle and carrying small arms and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
The Pentagon has declined to release details about the commando team's exact mission. U.S. officials have said the joint U.S.-Niger patrol had been asked to assist a second American commando team hunting for a senior Islamic State group member. The team had been asked to go to a location where the insurgent had last been seen.
After completing that mission, the troops stopped in a village to get food and water, then left. The U.S. military believes someone in the village may have tipped off the attackers.
The U.S. has approximately 800 troops in Niger, and U.S. special operations forces have been working with Niger's forces in a growing effort in recent years, helping them to improve their abilities to fight extremists.
Multiple military efforts exist against extremist groups, including Boko Haram and al-Qaida affiliates, that roam the vast Sahel, the sprawling, largely barren zone south of the Sahara desert. The growing fight includes France's largest overseas military operation, a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali and a five-nation regional force called the G5 Sahel that launched last year.
Officials have pointed out the danger and difficulty of hunting down an enemy in region the size of Europe.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 7:42 AM
— Two weddings and a baby -- the royal family continues to grow as Princess Eugenie announces she’s engaged to be married this year.
Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter will walk down the aisle to marry her long-time boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank.
Princess Eugenie, 27, is the daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.
The announcement was posted on the royal family’s Twitter account Monday morning.
The Duke and Duchess of York are delighted to announce the engagement of Princess Eugenie to Mr. Jack Brooksbank. pic.twitter.com/ct45JvDfbq— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 22, 2018
The royal couple became engaged in Nicaragua in early January and will marry this fall at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, the same location for the upcoming nuptials for the queen’s other grandchild, Prince Harry and his fiancée, Meghan Markle, the Telegraph reported. Prince Harry and Markle will be married on May 19.
Princess Eugenie and Brooksbank began dating in 2011. They had met while skiing in Switzerland.
The princess is Prince Andrew and Sarah’s second daughter and is eighth in line to the throne, the BBC reported.
While Princess Eugenie works as a director of the contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth, Brooksbank was a nightclub manager and is currently the UK brand ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, a company co-founded by George Clooney, Sky News reported.
The BBC reported that Princess Eugenie will keep her royal title, Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York, after marriage, but she could take his surname.
As for the baby, Prince William and Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their third child, due in April.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2018. pic.twitter.com/jOzB1TJMof— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) October 17, 2017
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
— At least eight people have died after deadly winds blew through Europe.
Two firefighters are among the victims of the hurricane-strength winds that damaged buildings and tore trees from the ground, the BBC reported.
Travel was delayed due to the storm.
Germany’s Deutsche Bahn stopped running trains on Thursday, but restarted long-distance runs on Friday, according to media reports.
The storm is being considered one of the strongest storms to hit the country in 11 years, CNN reported.
Amsterdam’s air traffic was shut down after two of three terminals were closed when roof plates were blown off the building, CNN reported.
In other parts of Europe, users posted photos of damage to social media.
Shipping containers blown over in #Nederland this morning as a severe #windstorm counties to affect the country. Video; @cosmompolitanbe #extremeweather #severeweather #storm pic.twitter.com/86X2zXS61e— WEATHER/ METEO WORLD (@StormchaserUKEU) January 18, 2018
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:34 AM
SYDNEY — A wallaby hopping down a highway is not something you see everyday, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday in Sydney, Australia.
The marsupial found its way onto the road, making drivers wonder what they were seeing as they crossed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, ABC News in Australia reported.
Early morning motorists must have thought they were still dreaming when they spotted a #Wallaby on the #HarbourBridge. See all the footage of his daring adventure on @9NewsSyd @9NewsAUS. pic.twitter.com/t2dP9GpsXb— Kate Creedon (@KateCreedon9) January 15, 2018
Some described the animal as a kangaroo, including traffic controllers with the Transport Management Center.
“Traffic controllers had quite a surprise early this morning when we saw a kangaroo making its way down lane No. 8 of Sydney Harbour Bridge, coming from the north side,” Dave Wright told ABC News.
“It basically continued to hop, making its way from lane 8 all the way over to lane 1 ... down the Cahill Expressway and down to Macquarie Street,” Wright said.
Officers were able to corner the animal which turned out to be a male adult swamp wallaby. It was taken to a vet who checked it out. It had a few scratches on its face and hind legs, but had no major injuries, 9 News reported.
Some believe the wallaby may have come from a nearby golf course, but groundskeepers and golfers said they’ve never seen a wallaby or kangaroo on the course before, 9 News reported.
Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 8:33 AM
— A reporter apparently never heard the saying about not working with animals or children, but thank goodness he didn’t, because we wouldn’t have the Friday laughs some may need.
Alexander Dunlop was supposed to do a quick standup about England’s Banham Zoo’s annual counting of the park’s animals.
But it didn’t go as planned.
Brave lemur fans can have a “lemur encounter” and get up close and personal with the wild animals.