Niamey – Boko Haram fighters have killed a Niger soldier, the government said on Monday, claiming to have eliminated 11 “terrorists” during an assault by the jihadists in the southeast of the country.
Boko Haram forces aboard vehicles and motorcycles attacked National Guards at the Garin Dogo outpost on Sunday, according to the interior ministry.
The raid left one soldier dead, one missing and four wounded, a statement said adding “11 terrorists killed and one wounded (man) captured.”
“Seven accomplices” of the attacks were also arrested and weapons were taken and destroyed, the ministry said.
Garin Dogo houses some of the 1 000 new local recruits intended to protect villages and displaced people in the region.
The outpost came under attack twice late last month, a military source said.
Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum hailed progress in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province jihadists during a visit to Garin Dogo on June 26.
“We are winning this war,” he said. The “end of Boko Haram is very close”, Bazoum told troops.
The surrounding Diffa region is home to 300 000 Nigerian refugees and internally displaced people driven out by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province abuses, according to the UN.
Much of Niger’s military campaign against jihadist groups is concentrated along its borders with Mali and Burkina Faso.
In the west, Niger faces Sahelian jihadist groups including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. Attacks targeting civilians and soldiers there are regular and bloody.