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WATCH: Top U.S. general says families, Americans deserve answers on Niger ambush

WASHINGTON — The top U.S. general says the American people, including the families of the fallen soldiers in Niger, deserve answers about this month’s deadly ambush.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, says the four U.S. special operations forces died Oct. 4 amid a “complex situation” and a “difficult firefight.”

Dunford says American forces have been in Niger intermittently for more than two decades.

Some 800 U.S. service members are supporting a French-led mission to defeat the Islamic State, al-Qaida and Boko Haram in West Africa.

Dunford acknowledges many questions remain about what happened near Niger’s Mali border.

They include whether the U.S. had adequate intelligence and equipment for its operation, whether there a planning failure and why it took so long to recover one the bodies.

PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.