Suspected Islamists kill 25 soldiers in Niger
10/01/2020 12:44, Chinagodrar/Niger

(TAP) - Suspected Islamist militants killed 25 soldiers and wounded six others in an attack on an army post in west Niger near its border with Mali on Thursday, the government said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack on the post at Chinagodrar, about 130 miles (209 km) north of the capital Niamey.

But it coincides with a campaign by Islamist groups connected to al Qaeda and Islamic State to force the Nigerian army back from its western frontier with Mali, where government control of the rural centre and north has all but evaporated because of the rise of jihadists.

Attackers approached the military post on motorcycles and other vehicles and were met with resistance from the army and the air force, the government said in a statement. Sixty-three assailants were also killed during the raid.

"The Defence ministry... offers its condolences to the victims and wishes the wounded a prompt recovery," the statement said, adding that a search operation was underway to find those responsible.

Despite efforts by international forces to stop them, attacks have risen four-fold over the past year in Niger, killing nearly 400 people, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a non-profit research organisation.

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