At least two Nigerian soldiers were killed on Monday night in a multi-hour attack on Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in southeastern Niger, near Nigeria, a security source told AFP.
“It was a bold attack repulsed by our valiant defense and security forces who have even lost two men,” the Nigerian source said Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
The Nigerian insurgents “come on board a dozen vehicles” have targeted in the early evening a position of the National Guard near Chétimari, a village located about twenty kilometers west of the city of Diffa, the regional capital of south-east Niger, said this source.
“As the Nigerian military showed strong resistance, the Boko Haram elements retreated to pound their positions at a distance.” Reinforcements led by the head of the Diffa National Guard, Major Mohamed Alwata, have “pushed them back” to Nigeria, they added.
The attackers “also lost several elements” during the fighting that lasted “hours”, said the same security source.
In mid-January, seven Nigerian soldiers were killed and 17 wounded in an attack in Toummour, east of Diffa, towards the Lake Chad Basin. These attacks came after several months of lull in the theater since February 2015 many attacks Boko Haram.
On June 3, 2016, a massive attack by Boko Haram killed 26 soldiers and an unknown number of civilian casualties in the town of Bosso, about twenty kilometers from Toummour.
Between 2015 and 2017, the UN recorded 582 civilian casualties in 244 attacks attributed to Boko Haram in the Diffa region. Some 141 civilians were “wounded, killed and kidnapped” in 2017, compared to 227 in 2016 and 214 in 2015, says the UN.