One of four American soldiers killed in Niger last month may have been kidnapped by ISIS-linked militants before he was executed, sources say. A village elder in northern Niger tells CBS that a battle raged for more than two hours after a group of Green Berets was ambushed by attackers on motorbikes. He says after the battle was over, he saw three American soldiers dead in a truck, stripped of their uniforms. The body of Sgt. La David Johnson, however, was not found for two days and military sources tell CBS that they believe he was taken prisoner by militant who later shot him and dumped the body around half a mile away from the battle site.
The military is investigating how the four soldiers became separated from their unit during the Oct.4 attack while seven other American troops were reportedly evacuated. Five Nigerien troops were also killed in the attack, though sources tell the Guardian that the Nigerian forces fled soon after the ambush, leaving the Americans to fight alone. The sources say the trapped American troops struggled to call in an attack from nearby French forces, who complained about bad weather and rough terrain. (The attack has been called a "massive intelligence failure.")