The fighting in southwestern Niger, along the border with Nigeria, has intensified. A large force of Boko Haram terrorists stormed a Niger military base in Diffa, the largest city in the area.

The group claimed that they completely overran the base in Diffa. They posted a propaganda video that purportedly shows their fighters capturing the base. 

Through heavy firing in the background, their fighters pass by a fallen Niger soldier and then shoot the already dead soldier twice. Amid shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), they then withdraw from the compound. However, local residents of Diffa told the news media, that the attack, which came from the Nigeria side of the border, was pushed back.  

News media interviewed several locals who witnessed the attack late in the day. 

Lawan Boukar, a local resident, told the North Africa Journal, “We heard gunfire, especially heavy weapons, between 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm on the southern side of the city.”

“It was an audacious infiltration attempt by Boko Haram, who were then forced back to the bridge at Doutchi,” he added. The bridge, the witness referred to, is a cross-border bridge about 18 miles from the base. His account directly refutes Boko Haram’s allegation that the base was overran.

Another resident said, “[The attackers] came over from the Nigerian side in the late afternoon when the Ramadan fast was about to break — they were obviously hoping to catch our soldiers unawares.”

This latest attack by Boko Haram comes on the heels of a month-long operation in neighboring Chad, where the army has targeted the terrorist group in the contested Lake Chad region. The military forces of Chad claimed to have killed over 1,000 of Boko Haram’s fighters in the operation against a loss of 52 Chadian troops.