At least sixteen Nigerien soldiers have been killed and another is missing after an ambush against a patrol in the Tahoua region near the Mali border, local officials say.
Tahoua department secretary general Ibrahim Miko said on public television that during the attack by “bandits” on Saturday the toll was “16 dead, six injured and one missing,” .
Niger has been struggling with terrorist insurgencies that have spilled over from Mali and Nigeria.The vast desert area of Tahoua in the west of the country sits close to the borders of both Mali and Burkina Faso and has been plagued by extremist violence since 2012.
The attacks in western Niger are often attributed to groups affiliated to the Al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups. They were the worst attacks committed by suspected extremists in Niger in recent years
The country has witnessed numerous attacks against civilians this year with over 300 people killed in villages and encampments in western Niger.