US troops were attacked near the Niger-Mali border Wednesday, the US military told CNN.
"We can confirm reports that a joint US and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger," Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for Africa Command, which oversees US troops in the region, told CNN.
"We are working to confirm details on the incident and will have more information as soon as we can confirm facts on the ground," Falvo added.
The US military has maintained a small presence in the northwest African country with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle two terrorist groups, the ISIS affiliated Boko Haram and al Qaeda's North African branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has maintained a presence in the Mali-Niger border area, despite a multi-year French-led military counterterrorism effort, Operation Barkhane, which began in 2014.
The US military has largely played a supporting role, providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets in support French forces operating in Mali and Niger. The French operation involves thousands of French troops as well as forces from Germany, Mali, Niger and other countries in the region.
"US Forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region," Falvo said, adding "one aspect of that is training, advising and assisting the Nigeriens in order to increase their ability to bring stability and security to their people."
The US is also in the process of establishing a new drone base just outside the city of Agadez in Niger in an effort to bolster regional counterterrorism efforts.