Hundreds of Boko Haram extremists attacked a military post in Niger near the country’s border with Nigeria, killing at least 32 soldiers, Niger’s defense ministry said on Saturday.
The attack in Bosso on Friday left 30 Niger soldiers and two soldiers from Nigeriadead, the ministry said in a statement, adding that at least 67 other soldiers were wounded.
“They burned houses, looted food stores and shops, and burned the military post before fleeing with weapons and ammunition,” said Adam Boukarna, a deputy in Bosso.
Residents left Bosso during the attacks and headed to Toumour, about 30km to the west, he said.
The military launched a counterattack on Saturday using air and land forces, pushing the militants out of Bosso and inflicting heavy casualties, the ministry said without giving further details.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack, saying 35 soldiers were killed, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi online postings. The Nigeria-based Islamic militants pledged support for the Isis last year.