Boko Haram Kills 32 Soldiers in Niger

Boko Haram Kills 32 Soldiers in NigerBoko Haram Kills 32 Soldiers in Niger

Hundreds of Boko Haram extremists attacked a military post in Niger near the country’s border with Nigeria, killing at least 32 soldiers, Niger’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

The attack in Bosso on Friday killed 30 Niger soldiers and two soldiers from Nigeria, the ministry said in a statement, adding that at least 67 other soldiers were wounded.

“They burned houses, looted food stores and shops, and burned the military post before fleeing with weapons and ammunition,” said Adam Boukarna, a deputy in Bosso, AP reported.

Residents left Bosso during the attacks and headed to Toumour, about 30 km to the west, he said.

The military launched a counterattack on Saturday using air and land forces, pushing the militants out of Bosso and inflicting heavy casualties, the ministry said without giving further details.

Boko Haram claimed the attack, saying 35 soldiers were killed, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online postings by terrorist groups. The Nigeria-based militants pledged support for the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group last year.

Niger contributes to a multinational force set up to fight Boko Haram in the region, where attacks have killed at least 20,000 people and displaced 2.7 million, according to Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Dozens gathered on Saturday in Niger’s capital, Niamey, to march against the insecurity caused by the militant group that has launched several attacks in Niger in recent weeks.