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Five Niger soldiers killed in IED explosion

By Guardian Nigeria
06 March 2022   |   12:21 pm
Five soldiers have been killed by a mine in Niger's southwestern Torodi region, where jihadist attacks using improvised explosive device (IEDs) are increasingly frequent, the defence ministry said on Sunday. Three soldiers were wounded in the blast, which occurred on Friday when an army patrol vehicle ran over the IED, the ministry said in a…

Five soldiers have been killed by a mine in Niger’s southwestern Torodi region, where jihadist attacks using improvised explosive device (IEDs) are increasingly frequent, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

Three soldiers were wounded in the blast, which occurred on Friday when an army patrol vehicle ran over the IED, the ministry said in a statement carried on national television.

The troops were part of the 2,160-strong Niya anti-jihadist force set up in February in the southwest, near the border with Burkina Faso.  

Since 2017, western Niger has been regularly targeted by Islamist groups, despite the deployment of thousands of anti-jihadist troops and the imposition of a state of emergency.

IED attacks on the army have become particularly frequent in Torodi and neighbouring Gotheye. 

Both are located in the flashpoint “three borders” zone between Niger, Burkina and Mali, where jihadist groups including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara operate.

Security sources say the jihadists have recruited many young people in Niger, particularly in areas along the border with Burkina, where they have “set up several logistics bases”.

Niger, the world’s poorest country according to the UN’s Human Development Index, is battling another jihadist insurgency on its southeastern border with Nigeria, where Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province operate.

President Mohamed Bazoum says 12,000 of the country’s soldiers are involved full-time in anti-jihadist operations.

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