Niger has declared three days of national mourning following an attack by suspected armed groups near its border with Mali. At least 29 soldiers were killed in the attack, which involved improvised explosive devices and kamikaze vehicles by over a hundred terrorists. Two soldiers were seriously wounded, and several dozen terrorists were also killed. The attack occurred during military operations aimed at neutralizing the threat posed by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group in the area.
The ministry stated that communications from the terrorists who were forced to withdraw have been intercepted, and the attackers “benefited from outside expertise”. Attacks by armed groups have plagued Africa’s Sahel region for over 10 years, with attacks in northern Mali in 2012 and spreading to neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015. The “three borders” region between Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso is frequently targeted by ISIL and al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters. The violence has fuelled military takeovers in all three countries, with Niger falling to a coup on July 26 that overthrew its democratically elected president.