Extremist attack pushes Nigerien soldiers’ death toll to 28

Africa

Boko Haram, Al Qaeda-affiliated and IS groups are growing threats, and frequently carry out attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Representatives from the Sahel countries, including Niger, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania have been briefed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on security in the region as the death toll of Nigerien troops rose to 28.

The rising death toll follows the attack near the Mali border which the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for late on Thursday.

Eleven of the soldiers’ bodies were discovered on Wednesday after they had previously been reported as missing, Al Jazeera reported.

On Tuesday, a patrol of 52 Nigerien soldiers in the western Tillaberi region of Niger came across a group of heavily armed men at Baley Beri, which resulted in a two-hour long fight and the deaths of the soldiers.

Ten people were also killed this week in neighbouring Burkina Faso during sectarian attacks on churches, highlighting the growing number of attacks and instability the Sahel region is facing, as Al Qaeda-affiliated and IS groups step up their attacks on military and civilian targets across West Africa’s Sahel region this year.

Last week, French special forces freed four foreign hostages that were kidnapped in Burkina Faso. Two of the soldiers were killed during the operation.

The border areas, where Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali meet, are especially dangerous as violence across the region worsens.

Boko Haram and another IS splinter group, both based in Nigeria, are also a growing threat, and frequently carry out attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

African News Agency (ANA)

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