Niger Army loses 17 soldiers in attack near Mali border

At least 17 Nigerien soldiers were killed and 20 injured in an attack by suspected terrorists near the Niger-Mali border, the defense ministry said in Niamey.

Early Tuesday afternoon, a detachment of the Niger Armed Forces moving between Boni and Torodi was the victim of a terrorist ambush near the town of Koutougouā€, according to a statement from the ministry published late Tuesday evening.

It was the deadliest known attack since the 27th July coup in Niger that toppled elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

The soldiers who took power, headed by General Abdourahamane Tiani, mainly put forward ā€œthe deterioration of the security situationā€ to justify their coup.

The TillabƩri region is located in the so-called three borders area between Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, and is a haven for militants.

For years, this part of Niger has been regularly targeted by attacks from these armed groups despite the massive deployment of anti-terroristā€™s forces.

Before the coup, France, a former colonial power that has 1,500 soldiers in Niger, was actively involved with the Nigerien army in the fight against these terroristā€™s groups.

The new military regime in Niamey has taken France as its main target, accusing it of wanting to intervene militarily to restore President Bazoum to his duties.

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