A military base in Niger was attacked on Thursday by heavily armed assailants. The assailants killed 25 people and in the resulting clash between the assailants and security forces, 63 'terrorists' were killed according to the defence ministry. The region has witnessed jihadists attacks in the past.
The assailants were reportedly on vehicles and motorbikes and the assault occurred in Chinegodar, in the western Tillaberi near the volatile frontier with Mali. The attack occurred around 1 pm local time. While speaking to local media, defence spokesman Colonel Souleymane Gazobi said that they were able to attack and repel the enemy with the help of combined air support of Niger air force and partners.
The enemy was pushed outside the boundaries of the country. The death toll was 25 dead as well as six injured in the friendly side and 63 assailants neutralised.
Earlier, Niger suffered one of its deadliest terror attack on December 10, 2019. At least 71 soldiers were killed and 12 got injured during the assault. Hundreds of terrorists launched an attack on the camp with shelling and mortars in western Tillaberi region near the border with Mali. Without giving the exact figure, the defence ministry said that the terrorists were heavily armed and that a “substantial number” of terrorists were neutralised. Since the military is fighting against Boko Haram militants as well as Islamic State’s jihadist allies, there has not been clarity on which group was involved in the fatal attack.
The terrorists reached the camp using kamikaze vehicles and started attack around 3.00 pm (local time), which continued for more than three hours. According to media reports, explosions of ammunition and fuel present at the camp led to the heavy death toll. The government claimed that the situation is now under control and acknowledged that the assailants have fled beyond the borders of Niger.
(with inputs from agencies)