NIAMEY: Suspected Islamic militants killed at least 25 soldiers on Thursday in an attack that came just a month after the worst jihadist assault on the military in years, officials said.
The attack, which also left dozens of militants dead, was waged in the town of Chinagodrar, on Niger’s troubled border with Mali. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the assault bore the hallmarks of an Islamic State-linked group that said it was behind a December ambush at a military outpost near the town of Inates.
This week, the United Nations envoy for West Africa and the Sahel described “a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets” in the region. The attacks include the ambush last month that killed 71 soldiers.
The envoy, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, told the United Nations Security Council that terrorist attacks have increased fivefold in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger since 2016. More than 4,000 deaths were reported in 2019 compared with an estimated 770 deaths in 2016, he said.