NIAMEY, Niger (AP) – Hundreds of Islamic militants attacked a military outpost in southeast Niger overnight, killing 16 soldiers and wounding at least nine others, the country’s Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.
Boko Haram extremists targeted the soldiers near the village of Baroua, not far from the border with Chad.
“The hundreds of terrorists came from Lake Chad and were pushed back by the military,” said a statement from the Niger National Defense Ministry, which stated that 50 militants were killed in the fighting.
The military outpost was established near the village of Baroua after residents who fled violence in the area were returned to their village after five years last July.
Boko Haram and its breakaway faction, known as the Islamic State in West Africa Province, have carried out numerous attacks in Niger since the extremist uprisings began in neighboring Nigeria in 2009.
Niger is also facing increasing extremist violence on its borders with Mali and Burkina Faso in the west. This year alone, hundreds of civilians have been killed in a series of massacres in the crisis region.
Associate press writer Chinedu Asadu in Lagos, Nigeria, contributed.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.