SHAFAQNA – A thwarted attack by suspected Boko Haram Takfiri militants has claimed the lives of two Nigerien soldiers and left several others wounded, Niger’s defense minister says.
Karidjo Mahamadou said that the casualties came in Niger’s southeast on Wednesday after Nigerien troops attacked the would-be bombers, triggering their explosive devices.
The bombers failed to “hit their targets and they were all killed. It was when their bombs went off that some of our soldiers were hit,” said Niger’s defense chief.
Meanwhile, Anfani, Niger’s private radio station, reported that the Wednesday raid took place in the country’s southeastern city of Diffa, located on the border with Nigeria.
Diffa has witnessed several attacks since February, including one in June in which 38 people lost their lives.
The Nigerien defense minister said such assaults are aimed at “killing as many people as possible.”
Referring to two US military intelligence planes, which were recently given to Niger, he further noted, “It’s not tanks we need but intelligence to fight them.”
Niger has joined a regional military alliance alongside Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria to battle Nigeria-based Boko Harman elements, whose violence has spilled over into several African nations.
The Boko Haram militancy began in 2009, when the terrorist group started an armed rebellion against the government. At least 17,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million made homeless since then.
The terrorists have recently pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh militant group, which is primarily operating inside Syria and Iraq.