Six soldiers and 31 “terrorists” were killed in fighting on Sunday and Monday in the Téra zone, in western Niger near Burkina Faso, the Nigerien Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
The Ministry, in a press release, said “From Sunday, October 15 to Monday, October 16, 2023, the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) of Operation Niya on a mop-up mission had a series of clashes with terrorist elements in the Lemdou area 50 km to the north-west of Téra”, explains the ministry in a press release sent to AFP.
“Six soldiers died” and 18 others, injured, were evacuated to Niamey, indicating the military regime that came to power in a coup at the end of July.
Nigerien soldiers “reacted with bravery” by “routing the enemy” and killing “31 terrorists”, he assures, a toll that could not be confirmed by an independent source.
The fighting took place in the Tillabéri region (west), in the middle of the so-called “three borders” zone between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, which has become a hideout for Sahelian jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the EIGS.
In recent weeks, several attacks have devastated Niger in this area, which has been destabilized by jihadists for several years.
The heaviest death toll was recorded at the beginning of October, with 29 soldiers killed in a “complex attack” by suspected jihadists northwest of Tabatol, a town near Mali.
At the end of September, 16 soldiers were killed in another attack in the town of Kandadji and in mid-August, at least 17 soldiers died near the border with Burkina.
Niger has been governed since July 26 by a military regime that came to power in a coup that overthrew elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
While many countries and organizations continue to call for his release, the ruling military regime remains adamant for the time being.
Since the coup on July 26, Mohamed Bazoum has been held prisoner in his residence in the presidential palace, along with his wife Haziza and son Salem.
France, one of Mohamed Bazoum’s most fervent supporters, began withdrawing its 1,400 or so soldiers from the anti-jihadist campaign on October 9 and sent its ambassador to Niamey, Sylvain Itté, back to Paris at the end of September, two demands made by the regime.

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