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Fri, 17 Jan 2020 15:38 GMT

Niger Says it Killed 33 Boko Haram Militants

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Wed, 13 Mar 2019 23:27 GMT

Niger said on Wednesday March 13th that it had killed 33 Boko Haram “terrorists” and seized their vehicles and weapons in an operation in the Lake Chad region in the country's southeast.

"Offensive actions carried out on Tuesday inflicted heavy losses on the enemy," a defence ministry statement read on state television said.

"Thirty-three terrorists (were) killed" while there were no losses on the army's side, it said.

An "armoured vehicle" was destroyed, while two other vehicles, two motorcycles, a 120-millimetre mortar, 10 AK-47 assault rifles, two 60mm shells and 3,736 rounds of all calibres were seized, it added.

The operation began on Saturday, the statement said, a day after seven police and 38 jihadists were killed near Gueskerou in the southeastern region of Diffa, according to a government toll.

The birthplace of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, the Diffa borders, has suffered a string of cross-border raids and population displacement.

An estimated 27,000 have been killed and two million others displaced since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009.

Lake Chad, which straddles parts of Niger, Nigeria, and Chad, has borne the brunt of the jihadists' hit-and-run attacks.

Last year, about a dozen girls were snatched in raids on several border villages, while seven local employees of a French drilling firm and a government official were killed after suspected Boko Haram gunmen stormed their compound.

This year on February 16th, seven Nigerian soldiers were killed in an attack on the border village of Chetima Wangou.

A year-end government offensive, combining land and air forces, killed more than 280 militants, Niger's armed forces maintained on January 3rd.