This May 25, 2015 file photo shows soldiers patrolling a road between Diffa and Bosso in the southeast of Niger near the border with Nigeria. (Photo by AFP)
Nigeria-based Boko Haram Takfiri militants have attacked soldiers in neighboring Niger, with reports saying more than two dozen people have been killed in the fighting.
Niger's Defense Ministry said late Tuesday that the attack on its soldiers had been carried out a day earlier near the village of Toumour, about 65 kilometers northeast of the town of Diffa.
Nigerien armed forces spokesman Colonel Moustapha Michel Ledru said five soldiers had been killed and six others injured as a result of the fighting, which also saw at least 30 militants killed.
The official, who was delivering a statement on Niger’s national television, said two Boko Haram militants had been arrested and the army confiscated a large quantity of arms and ammunition.
The clashes came less than a week after two Nigerien soldiers were declared dead after their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device during a patrol near Barwa locality in Diffa.
Niger has been one of the countries affected by more than seven years of Boko Haram militancy in Nigeria. The Takfiri terrorist group has routinely launched attacks across the border from Nigeria into Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Those countries have in return stepped up carrying out counter-offensives in the form of unilateral operations or contributing to a multi-national force against the militant group.
More than 20,000 people have been killed and many more displaced in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries since Boko Haram started its campaign in 2008. The group has pledged allegiance to Daesh, another Takfiri terrorist group mainly operating in Iraq and Syria.
Many blame corrupt officials in the Nigerian government and army for the continued militancy, as recent reports say Boko Haram is receiving some of its arms and ammunition from corrupt Nigerian officials.