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Hundreds of militants attack Niger soldiers in Kandadji

Hundreds of militants attack Niger soldiers in Kandadji

Hundreds of militants attack Niger soldiers in Kandadji

Hundreds of militants attack Niger soldiers in Kandadji

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  • Militant attack in southwestern Niger claims 12 soldiers’ lives.
  • Seven soldiers were killed in combat, and five in a road accident during the response.
  • Counter-offensive results in over 100 militants killed.
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In the southwestern region of Niger, a town was targeted by a substantial group of Islamist militants on motorcycles, resulting in the loss of 12 soldiers, as reported by the defense ministry.

Among the casualties, seven soldiers lost their lives during the combat, while an additional five soldiers died in a road accident while responding to the attack.

The defense minister disclosed that a counter-offensive had led to the elimination of over 100 militants.

Since the military takeover in July, there has been a notable increase in militant attacks on the army. The coup was orchestrated by the military to enhance their capabilities in confronting the militants, some of whom are affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

The junta ruling the country has issued an order for French troops, previously stationed in Niger to aid in the fight against militants, to depart.

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Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron consented to their withdrawal.

Sylvain Itté, the French ambassador, departed Niger earlier this week after enduring a prolonged blockade imposed by the junta at the embassy. Speaking to French TV upon returning to Paris, he characterized the situation as an attempt to “wear him down.”

Reports indicate that soldiers from various regions of the country have been summoned to the capital, Niamey, to provide security for the coup leaders, leaving extensive areas vulnerable to militant assaults.

Just the previous month, at least 17 soldiers lost their lives in another attack near the border with Burkina Faso. This incident marked the deadliest known attack in Niger since the coup.

Niger’s Defense Minister, Salifou Mody, stated that the assault on Thursday was carried out by “several hundred terrorists traveling on motorcycles” who targeted the town of Kandadji.

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“A search and sweep operation is now underway to track down the enemy,” the minister said.

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The party responsible for the attack remains unclear at this time.

In recent developments, Niger has entered into a defense agreement with neighboring countries Burkina Faso and Mali. This pact is designed to provide mutual support in the event of armed uprisings or external threats.

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Notably, the United States maintains a presence of over 1,000 troops in Niger, although no request has been made for their departure.

Furthermore, the withdrawal of foreign and United Nations forces from Mali has coincided with a surge in violence, with both Islamist insurgents and rebel factions becoming more active.

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