Mali militia offers to return US vehicle after attack

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Members of the Taureg militia pictured in February, Photo - AFP

A Malian militia has offered to return an American vehicle abandoned in a deadly attack which left four US special forces and four Nigerien soldiers dead.

The four wheel drive vehicle, which is understood to have been abandoned during the ambush in Niger in October, has come into the hands of The Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), a Tuareg militia group.

MSA say they seized the vehicle, along with guns belonging to the US, during a clash with “armed bandits” on the border at the start of this week.

It is unclear if the bandits had any relation to the Islamic State militant group, an affiliate of which claimed to be behind last year’s attack.

MSA, which shared photos of its haul, has now offered to return it to the US “through legal channels”.

According to news agency Reuters, Colonel Mark Cheadle said the US military’s Africa Command was investigating the claim.

The October attack, which saw a joint force come under fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, marked the first time the US has lost soldiers in Niger.