15 soldiers killed and six missing

Security forces were caught in an “ambush by terrorist armed groups” on Saturday in southwestern Niger, near the Burkinabe border, and the Nigerien military came to their rescue and came across an explosive device. A total of 15 military personnel lost their lives, seven were injured and six are missing.

Fifteen Nigerien soldiers were killed on Saturday and six others are “missing”, after a “terrorist” attack in the department of Torodi (southwest) near Burkina Faso, said Sunday 1er august the Niger Ministry of Defence.

The ministry explained that the security forces who were on a resupply mission were initially caught in an” ambush by terrorist armed groups “before the soldiers trying to evacuate the wounded came across”an improvised explosive device”.

The total toll of this attack that occurred on Saturday around 10 am GMT is “15 soldiers dead, 7 wounded, 6 missing”, the statement said. “A broad sweep of the area” by ground forces ” supported by military aviation “was engaged in order to” get hold of the terrorists”, the text continues.

Attacks on civilians increase

The department of Torodi is located in the southwest of the region of Tillabéri which is in the so-called “three borders” area between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. This area is the scene of frequent attacks by Sahelian jihadist groups including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS) and the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM, affiliated with Al-Qaeda).

Attacks by suspected jihadists are increasingly targeting civilians in the Tillaberi region, a vast arid and landlocked area. Thirty – three villagers were killed in two separate attacks, last Sunday and Wednesday, further north, near the Malian border.

A contingent of 1,200 soldiers from the Chadian army, reputedly the most seasoned in the region, was deployed in the three borders area, as part of the multinational anti-jihadist force of the “G5 Sahel” grouping five countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina, Niger, Chad).

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