Sixteen Niger Soldiers killed after Ambush near Mali border

Sixteen Niger Soldiers killed after Ambush near Mali border. [Image: Courtesy]
NIAMEY, Niger — Sixteen Nigerien soldiers have been killed and six others wounded following an attack that took place in Tahoua near the Mali border. The attack is said to be an ambush against a patrol in the region.

While speaking on national television on Sunday evening, Tahoua department Secretary Ibrahim Miko confirmed that sixteen soldiers of the National Guard of Niger are dead, six injured and one missing.

“We have just gone through a painful time. Captain Maman Nameywa of the National Guard of Niger, with his mates, fell yesterday in an ambush launched by armed bandits in the department of Tilia.” He said.

“From the front, these armed bandits cannot face or men, and they cowardly took advantage of their return from their mission to ambush them.” He added.

Insurgencies in Niger and its neighboring countries of the West Sahel region (including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria etc.) have been on the rise.

In March, at least 137 people were killed by suspected militants at several locations in West Niger near Mali’s border.

On April 28, the country’s defence ministry issued a statement saying that suspects were planning to attack the market town of Banibangou. 

However, the army was alerted and 26 people were arrested after a gunfire exchange.

Yesterday the government said troops had killed 24 terrorists after they tried to escape. The terrorists had been held captive in the west of the country.

The statement read in part, “After ignoring warning shots, 24 prisoners were fatally wounded and one of them was able to escape.”

Groups affiliated to the AlQaeda and Daesh groups are said to be responsible for these attacks.