11 soldiers killed in Niger militant attack, 9 missing...

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11 soldiers killed in Niger militant attack, 9 missing

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 12:07 PM, 6 November 2021  

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At least 11 soldiers have been killed by gunmen in the West African country of Niger. Nine more people have gone missing in the incident. 

The incident took place in the village of Dagne in the southwestern part of the country, days after 69 civilians died in an ambush.

The Niger Defense Ministry informed this in a statement on Friday, saying that the Niger-based extremist group controls a border village in neighboring Mali.

A statement from the Ministry of Defense said the army was patrolling the area to “liberate” Dagne and surrounding villages from militants. On Thursday evening, a group of heavily-armed terrorists in several vehicles and dozens of motorcycles and attacked a barrack outside the village.

The Defense Ministry said that members of the army were killed and missing in the ambush.

“After fierce fighting, the enemy was forced to retreat with its dead and wounded,” added the statement, which said “air and ground reinforcements dispatched to the area continue to sweep” the locality.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the country’s security forces believe the attack is directly linked to the international militant group Islamic State (IS). 

A few months ago, IS attacked the village of Dagne, killed hundreds of people in that area. After that incident, the army was patrolling in Dagne and its surrounding villages.

Two days before, Thursday’s attack, militants attacked another area near the border with Mali on Tuesday, killing at least 69 people, including a local mayor. The distance from Dagne to that area is only 100 kilometers.

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, three countries in West Africa, are barren and impoverished. The activities of various armed groups including militant groups have been increasing in these areas for the last few years.

Al-Qaeda and IS are active in Niger. They have been in conflict with the army for the last few years. Thousands of civilians have already been killed in the conflict, and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced.

Source: Reuters

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