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75 Boko Haram Takfiri militants killed in cross-border security operations, Niger says

The screen-grab image taken from a video released on January 2, 2018 by the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group shows the militants during a Christmas Day attack on a military checkpoint in the village of Molai on the outskirts of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

The Nigerien Defense Ministry says army troops from the landlocked West African country and allied forces from neighboring states have killed 75 members of the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist group during security operations earlier this week in the region, where the borders of Niger, Nigeria and Chad converge.

The ministry said in a statement that twenty-five “terrorists” were killed on Monday south of Diffa, which is the main city in southeast Niger, while “about 50... were neutralized” the same day on Nigerian soil in the Lake Chad region.

The ministry noted that troops from Niger's contingent in the regional force carried out “aggressive reconnaissance” on the banks of the Komadougou River on Monday, and clashed with Boko Haram members at a locality 74 kilometers south of Diffa.

“All the terrorist group,” comprising 25 militants, was killed, it said, adding that two soldiers were slightly injured.

A vehicle, four motorbikes, weapons, ammunitions and various materials “for military use” were seized, the statement noted.

The same day, around 50 “enemy elements” were “neutralized” in coalition air strikes and artillery bombardment of Tombon-Fulani, an island in the marshy Lake Chad region in northeastern Nigeria, the defense ministry added.

“Shelters and logistical dumps” were also destroyed, it said.

On May 3, Boko Haram carried out a major attack against a Nigerien military camp outside Diffa, killing two soldiers and wounding three others, according to the government.

The violence spilled over into neighboring Sahel countries in 2015, especially in the Lake Chad region, where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge.

The city of Diffa, which is a city of 200,000 people located near the Nigerian border, has been repeatedly attacked.

The region is home to 120,000 refugees from Nigeria as well as 110,000 people internally displaced within Niger, according to UN data released in October.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Tuesday that violence in northwestern Nigeria had forced about 23,000 people to flee into Niger since April, and raised concerns about the deteriorating security situation in that region.

The countries about Lake Chad, together with Benin, have set up a combined group, the Multinational Joint Task Force, to counter the fighters.

(Source: News Agencies)

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