Niger’s military says it has killed at least 15 Boko Haram militants in land and air operations conducted by the army against the Takfiri terrorist group.
The news on the Nigerien army’s operations against Boko Haram was announced by the country’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday.
According to the armed forces of Niger, 20 Boko Haram members were also arrested and put in jail during the military operations.
The army destroyed an armored vehicle, 26 motorbikes and two caches of food and fuel held by the terrorists, reports quoted Colonel Moustapha Ledru, the commander of the operation, as saying.
It is not clear if the operations took place in Niger itself or in neighboring Nigeria where Boko Haram has strong presence. Niger’s government stopped short of saying whether Chad, another African nation, which has large numbers of troops in Niger, had taken part in the operation.
The military operation, however, comes after an attack by Boko Haram militants in southeast Niger last week killed 40 civilians, mostly children and women, in two villages.
Earlier this month, the militants carried out twin bombings in Chad's capital, N'Djamena, killing at least 34 people, injuring more than 100 others.
Since March 8, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria have been conducting a coordinated offensive against Boko Haram militants in Nigeria’s Borno State.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says its main goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
The Takfiris have claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks and bombings in various parts of Nigeria during the past six years. The Takfiri militancy has claimed 15,000 lives and forced 1.5 million from their homes in the same period.