The Nigerian army on Sunday repelled an attack by Nigerian jihadists from Boko Haram at the gates of Diffa, the capital of south-western Niger, near the border with Nigeria.
“ We heard the sound of weapons, especially heavy weapons, from 4.30 p.m. until 7 p.m. (3.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. GMT) on the south side of the city. It was a daring attempt to infiltrate Boko Haram which was vigorously repelled by our FDS (Defense and Security Forces) towards the Doutchi bridge "(10 km south of Diffa), told AFP Lawan Boukar a resident of Diffa (200,000 inhabitants).
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" The attackers had come from the Nigerian side at the end of the afternoon when the breaking time of the Ramadan fast was approaching and were certainly thinking of taking our soldiers by surprise ," said another resident. A security source " confirmed the attack ", without giving further details. Contacted by AFP, the Ministry of Defense promised to publish a press release soon. In 2015, intense fighting had opposed the Nigerien army to the jihadists around the Doutchi bridge, which connects Niger to Nigeria south of Diffa.
This checkpoint is also close to Damasak, a Nigerian locality located 30 kilometers south of Diffa. Damasak had been conquered in October 2014 by Boko Haram after fierce fighting with the Nigerian army before being taken over by the armies of Chad and Niger after fierce fighting.
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Sunday's attack comes after a ground and air offensive in April by the Chadian army which announced that it had chased the jihadists from its soil. She claimed to have killed 1,000 jihadists and lost 52 men.
In late March, the Nigerian Ministry of Defense announced that it had killed a " figurehead " of the jihadist group Boko Haram, Ibrahim Fakoura, during an operation in the islands of Lake Chad (southeast), the hideout of Nigerian Islamists . In late April, Nigerian Minister of Defense Issoufou Katambé told AFP that (military) operations were still underway in the Lake Chad area ".
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