NewsWorldNiger: sixteen soldiers killed in a Boko Haram attack

Niger: sixteen soldiers killed in a Boko Haram attack

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In Niger, sixteen soldiers were killed and nine others wounded in an attack carried out on Tuesday by the Boko Haram group, the defense ministry announced on Wednesday. About fifty attackers were also killed in the fighting triggered by this attack.

Sixteen soldiers were killed in an attack carried out on Tuesday August 24 by the jihadist group Boko Haram in Baroua, a town in south-eastern Niger near Nigeria, Nigerien Defense Minister Alkassoum Indatou announced on Wednesday. in a press release sent to AFP.

Tuesday “at around 1.10 am (0.10 am GMT), the positions of our Defense and Security Forces in Baroua, in the Diffa region, were the subject of an attack by several hundred military elements. Boko Haram came through Lake Chad, “killing” sixteen “soldiers and injuring” nine “others, Nigerien Defense Minister Alkassoum Indatou said in a statement to AFP.

“On the enemy side, about fifty terrorists” were “neutralized” and “a significant amount of arms and ammunition of different calibers seized,” says the text.

This is the first attack targeting Baroua, a locality bordering Lake Chad, since the return on June 20 of more than 6,000 residents who had fled the atrocities of the jihadists in 2015.

Recent return of residents to Baroua

According to local authorities, between June and July, 26,573 people who fled the violence were returned to 19 villages, including Baroua. Security had been “tightened” around these villages, they said.

“Taking into account the positive development of the (security) situation on the ground, the government” decided “to give the green light to the displaced populations to return to their villages of origin,” said Issa Lémine, governor of the Diffa region, by welcoming the first arrivals to Baroua.

>> To read also: “Attacks in Niger: ‘The populations are targeted because they collaborate with the State'”

Before their repatriation, these displaced people had found refuge in sites around more secure villages, UN camps or with relatives throughout the region.

The Diffa region, bordering Nigeria, is home to 300,000 Nigerian refugees and internally displaced persons, driven out by the atrocities of the jihadists of the Nigerian group Boko Haram and its dissident branch Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap), according to the UN .

Niger caught between Boko Haram and Sahel jihadists

In early August, the presidency of Niger announced its intention to build an air base to strengthen its fight against jihadist groups in the Diffa region.

But Niger must also face the actions of Sahelian jihadist groups, including the Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS), in its western part, where attacks are regular and bloody, targeting civilians and soldiers.

On August 16, at least 37 civilians, including a dozen women and children, were massacred during the assault on a village by armed men on motorcycles.

And two weeks earlier, on July 31, 15 soldiers were killed in an ambush in the department of Torodi, in the southwest of the country.

With Reuters and AFP

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