40 Militants Killed in Niger Republic Airstrike

40 Militants Killed in Niger Republic Airstrike (News Central TV)

The French army said on Thursday forces from its Operation Barkhane in West Africa had killed over 40 militants in an airstrike near the border of Niger with Burkina Faso.

Following an attack on Niger gendarmes and at the request of Niger authorities, Barkhane forces employed air surveillance to monitor a column of 40 motorcycles, carrying out the action in close collaboration with Niger forces, according to the statement.

“Our military commitment in the Sahel-Sahara area to fight terrorism, along our African partners is total,” Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said on Twitter.

In February, Niger, a former French colony, agreed to host special forces sent from Mali as France evacuated troops stationed there since 2013 to assist in the fight against militants.

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Separately, during the weekend, armed men massacred at least 100 villagers in a rural zone of northern Burkina Faso near the Niger border, according to a security source.

The insurgency in Niger is an ongoing war and civil conflict between the government of Niger and Salafi militants groups.

The attacks that took place in Niger were a series of attacks by militants on civilians and soldiers, mainly in the western region of Tillabéri. The attacks left 611 dead and more than 114 others injured in 2021.

Several major attacks occurred in Niger during the 2010s and 2020. The Niger faces insurgencies both in its western regions and in its southeastern region.

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The insurgency in the west of the country began with incursions in 2015 and intensified from 2017 onwards, with massacres carried out by groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State. In its southeastern regions, nevertheless, the Niger mainly fights Boko Haram insurgents.

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