A jihadist deadly attack on a military camp in western Niger 3 days ago left 89 Niger soldiers dead, according to a new toll announced by the government on public radio Sunday 12th January.
“After a thorough search, the toll has been established as 89 dead among friendly forces, and 77 dead for the enemy,” said spokesman Zakaria Abdourahame.
3 days of national mourning have been declared to honor the dead.
The previous toll given for Thursday’s attack on the Chinegodar camp was twenty-five soldiers killed.
Heavily armed jihadists had stormed the military base in an area where dozens also died in a previous jihadist attack.
The raid near to the volatile frontier with Mali was carried out by attackers in vehicles and on motorbikes.
The attack happened in the same region Tillaberi, also bordering Burkina Faso, where 71 Niger soldiers were killed in a December attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, that saw hundreds of jihadists storm a camp near the border with Mali with artillery.
The latest attack is the deadliest on Niger’s military since Islamist extremist violence began to spill over from neighboring Mali in 2015.
The December attack spurred leaders of the G5 Sahel nations to call for closer cooperation and international support in the battle against the Islamist threat.
Militant violence has spread across the vast Sahel region, especially in Burkina Faso and Niger, having started when armed Islamists revolted in northern Mali in 2012.
Thousands of civilians have also died and more than two million have been forced to flee their homes since the jihadist revolt began.
Security experts note an escalation in the jihadists’ operational tactics, which seem to have become bolder and more complex in recent months. Read Here