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16 soldiers killed in Niger in suspected jihadist attack

AT LEAST 16 soldiers were killed in Niger over the weekend following a suspected jihadist attack in the western Tahoua Region near the border with Mali.

The ambush occurred near the Aganda area, where more than 200 civilians were killed in an attack carried out in March by unknown assailants.

The ActuNiger website reported that the armed men stole three army vehicles after the attack in which six more soldiers were injured and one remains missing.

The desert area of Tahoua, which also sits close to the border of Burkina Faso, has been plagued by violence since an Islamist insurgency in 2012.

More than 300 civilians have been killed so far this year in attacks attributed to groups aligned with Isis and al-Qaida.

The government said on Sunday that soldiers had killed 24 “suspected terrorists” who were planning an attack on the market town of Banibangou last week.

Niger is the world’s poorest nation, according to the UN development ranking of 189 countries. 

It has been plagued by political instability, with the government claiming to have foiled a military coup attempt last week, just days before President Mohamed Bazoum was sworn into office.


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