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BSS
  06 Jul 2022, 09:33

Six soldiers killed in jihadist attack in southeast Niger

NIAMEY, 6 July 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Suspected jihadists killed six soldiers and
wounded 14 others in an attack on a military post in southeast Niger near the
border with Chad, the defence ministry said late Tuesday.

The ministry statement read on public radio also mentioned "17 dead on the
enemy side" and said "arms and ammunition were recovered by the armed forces
combing the area" following the early Tuesday attack in Blabrine, in the Diffa
region.

The "provisional report" from the ministry did not identify the attackers,
but Niger has faced regular attacks by jihadists from Boko Haram and the
Islamic State West Africa Province group.

According to the ministry, the attack was carried out from the night of
July 4 to July 5 at around 1:00 am but the response from the soldiers "allowed
the attack to be repelled and the enemy routed".

It was the second attack in three days in southeast Niger's Diffa region,
which borders Chad and Nigeria. A Boko Haram assault on Sunday in Garin Dogo
near the border with Nigeria left one soldier dead.

Blabrine borders Chad and its military base has been targeted several times
since 2015.

In May 2020, 12 soldiers were killed and 10 wounded during an attack there
blamed on Boko Haram, according to an official report.

Just months earlier, in late October 2019, 12 soldiers were killed and
eight wounded in an attack on the same base.

During a visit to Garin Dogo at the end of June, President Mohamed Bazoum
hailed progress in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa
Province jihadists, saying: "We are winning this war."

The Diffa region is home to 300,000 Nigerian refugees and internally
displaced people, driven out by jihadist abuses, according to the United
Nations.

In the west, Niger also faces Sahelian jihadist groups including the
Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. Attacks targeting civilians and soldiers
there are regular and bloody.

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