A roadside bomb exploded damaging a U.S. military vehicle struck in the West African country of Niger, but no one was killed, U.S. Africa Command told Fox News on Sunday.
U.S. officials confirmed a tactical vehicle was damaged in Saturday's explosion but said the cause was “undetermined at this time.”
U.S. Africa Command told Fox News: “A U.S. Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle (MAT-V) activated an improvised explosive device (IED) while entering a firing range in the vicinity of Ouallam, Niger.”
Its statement added: “U.S. and Nigerien partner forces were conducting a training exercise when the explosion occurred.”
Ouallam, in western Niger, is not far from where four U.S. soldiers died during an October 2017 ambush. The attack by Islamic militants also killed four Nigerien soldiers in the joint patrol force.
The ambush drew attention to the U.S. military’s role in training troops in Niger.
The Pentagon said in November that it planned to reduce its counterterrorism forces in Africa over the next several years.
The move would be in line with the Trump administration's belief that the main challenge to U.S. security and prosperity is strategic competition with China and Russia rather than threats from extremist groups like the Islamic State group.
U.S. Africa Command told Fox News: “Niger is a vital partner in the fight against violent extremist organizations. U.S. forces are in Niger to work by, with, and through Nigerien partners to promote stability and security while enabling them to address their security threats.”
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.