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15 Niger troops killed in ambush, subsequent blast

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo of soldiers in Niger

Suspected terrorists ambush soldiers near Niger’s border with Burkina Faso, killing 15 of them and wounding seven others.

The attack took place in the Torodi area of the Tillaberi region that lies along the common border, Niger’s defense ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the attackers first ambushed the soldiers and then struck them with an improvised explosive device as they were trying to take the wounded away for treatment.

The toll is "15 soldiers killed, seven wounded, and six missing," it said in a statement.

The statement also said troops had fanned out across the area and were conducting a search operation to target the assailants. It added that the air force was backing up the operation aimed at “apprehending the terrorists.”

Tillaberi that also borders neighboring Mali is subject to frequent armed attacks. 

Two separate attacks killed dozens of villagers in the region earlier this week.

The attacks come while the region, where the countries’ borders come together, has been placed under the surveillance of a hundreds-strong multi-national taskforce.

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