Twenty-nine troopers had been killed in western Niger in an assault by suspected jihadists, the defence ministry mentioned on Monday evening, declaring a three-day nationwide mourning interval.
The troopers had been focused utilizing “improvised explosive gadgets and kamikaze autos by greater than 100 terrorists”, the ministry mentioned in a televised assertion.
Two troopers had been significantly wounded and “a number of dozen terrorists” had been additionally killed.
The assault occurred close to the nation’s border with Mali, throughout navy operations geared toward “neutralising the menace posed by the Islamic State” within the space, in line with the ministry.
“Communications from the terrorists, who had been pressured to withdraw, have been intercepted”, the ministry mentioned, including that the attackers “benefitted from outdoors experience”, with out giving any additional particulars.
A jihadist insurgency has plagued Africa’s Sahel area for greater than a decade, breaking out in northern Mali in 2012 earlier than spreading to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015.
The “three borders” space between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso is frequently the scene of assaults by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda.
The violence has fuelled navy takeovers in all three nations, with Niger the newest to fall to a coup on July 26 that ousted Mohamed Bazoum, its democratically elected president.
In August, no less than 17 Nigerien troopers had been killed and 20 wounded in an assault by suspected jihadists close to the border between Niger and Burkina Faso.