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.