Niger, Nigeria kill 125 Boko Haram fighters in two operations
London, May 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Niger’s defence ministry says 75 fighters with the Boko Haram extremist group have been killed in two operations this week.
Also, a joint operation from Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon on Monday carried out air raids on islands in Lake Chad sheltering Boko Haram fighters, killing at least 50 in Nigerian territory, the ministry said.
Niger’s forces killed at least 25 on Monday after launching an offensive against Boko Haram fighters who attacked military positions over the weekend, the ministry said late Tuesday. During the offensive in the southern Diffa region, Nigerien forces destroyed several explosive devices.
Twenty-five “terrorists” were killed on Monday south of Diffa, the main city in southeast Niger, while “about 50 … were neutralised” on the same day on Nigerian soil in the Lake Chad region in two operations by a regional force, the defence ministry said in a statement quoted by the AFP news agency on Wednesday.
The operations occurred days after jihadists associated with another extremist group attacked three villages in western Niger near its border with Mali, killing at least 20 people.
Boko Haram has killed more than 36,000 people and caused the displacement of nearly two million from their homes in northeastern Nigeria since 2009.
The violence spilled over into neighbouring Sahel countries in 2015, especially in the Lake Chad region, where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge.
Diffa, a city of 200,000 people located near the Nigerian border, has been repeatedly attacked.
The region is home to 120,000 refugees from Nigeria as well as 110,000 people internally displaced within Niger, according to UN data released in October.
The countries about Lake Chad, together with Benin, have set up a combined group, the Multinational Joint Task Force, to counter the fighters.