Suspected Jihadists Kill 12 Soldiers in Niger
In a fresh attack this morning, about 12 Niger soldiers have been killed at the restive southwest, bordering Mali, the interior minister said.
This is coming barely three weeks after four US soldiers died in ambush in Niger.
“There was a new attack. Twelve gendarmes were killed. We have launched search operations,” Mohamed Bazoum told AFP
At the beginning of the month, an ambush killed four US and four Niger soldiers along the border, which has been regularly targeted by jihadist groups.
The latest attack happened in the town of Ayorou in the Tillaberi region, 200 kilometres (124 miles) northwest of the Niger capital Niamey.
A security source said the attackers arrived in five vehicles and fled when police reinforcements arrived. Villagers saw them leave carrying bodies.
Jihadists attack has been rampant in Niger.
On October 4th, four U.S. Special Forces troops died and two others were injured Wednesday when they came under attack during a patrol in Niger.
Unnamed military sources told The New York Times and CNN that three Army Green Berets died after coming under hostile fire. The incident happened during a joint patrol with U.S. and Nigerien forces in southwest Niger.
The injured troops were transported to the capital city of Niamey.
A news release by AFRICOM said the U.S. military was “working to confirm details.”
AFRICOM said U.S. forces in Niger provide training and assist the Nigerien military with security, “including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, in their efforts to target violent extremist organizations in the region.”
An attack by Islamist militants on a high-security prison in Niger holding about 100 jihadists was foiled few months ago.
But the government spokesman said that no one was killed during the attack.
“The attack has been contained. One attacker has been killed. They are now being hunted,” he added.