An attack by hundreds of Boko Haram terrorist fighters against a military base in southern Niger on Tuesday resulted in the death of 16 soldiers and the wounding of nine more, the country’s defense ministry said. 

The attack by the Islamic terrorist group targeted the town of Baroua in the Diffa region, where the military had set up an outpost to protect thousands of residents who had returned to the area in July after taking refuge elsewhere following rebel massacres in 2015.

The government said that they had beefed up security to provide the returning population with greater protection.

Although the casualties among the troops were high, the defense ministry claimed that the army killed 50 attackers and forced them back across the neighboring border of Chad while recovering significant quantities of weapons.

Boko Haram Niger
Several hundred terrorist fighters from Boko Haram attacked the village of Baroua in Niger and were repelled. (Associated Press)

The government had moved more than 6,000 people in the area in late June. It is encouraging 26,000 more civilians, who have been displaced by terrorist attacks, to return back to Baroua. They had been living in UN camps or safer villages for the past six years. 

“The terrorists, numbering several hundred, had come from Lake Chad and were pushed back [by military forces]” the ministry said in a released statement. The Jeunesse Diffa (Diffa Youth), which reports on the security issues plaguing southeast Niger, said that “an enemy attack was well repelled and several terrorists were killed.”


Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) Leader Reportedly Dead

The Diffa Youth also reported that Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), who led the ambush on American Special Forces troops in Niger in 2017 was killed on August 22. He had pledged his support to ISIS. He was designated as an international terrorist by the United States after the Niger ambush with a five-million-dollar bounty on his head.