Six Nigerien soldiers were killed Wednesday, October 20 and three wounded in an ambush of armed men against the convoy of the prefect of the Bankilaré department in the Tillabéri region (west), near Burkina Faso, the governor told AFP. of this region.
“The Prefect was on leave and was returning to Bankilaré
(capital of the department of the same name)
when armed men ambushed him. There were six dead and three wounded among the soldiers of the National Guard who escorted him, ”
said Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, governor of Tillabéri. The Prefect
"is safe and sound
," he assured. Bankilaré borders the Séno province in northeastern Burkina Faso.
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This attack on the convoy of a Nigerien official is the first of its kind in this region of Tillabéri, an area known as the
between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.
Since the start of the year, this region has been the scene of bloody actions by jihadist groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), especially against civilians.
At least three Nigerien police officers were killed and several wounded during the night from Sunday to Monday, during the attack on the Petelkole border checkpoint, 10 km from the border with Burkina, a neighboring country also targeted by the jihadists.
The attacks against Petelkole and the prefect's convoy come after a two-day visit by Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum to Burkina Faso where he discussed with his Burkinabe counterpart Roch Marc Christian Kaboré the security situation in the Sahel following the decision of France to reduce its military forces in this region.
"We need to join hands, to support each other, to help each other to face one of the challenges we are facing, in particular terrorism,"
President Bazoum said on Monday during a meeting. work with Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
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A contingent of 1,200 Chadian soldiers had been deployed near Téra in the so-called
“three borders” area
to fight against jihadist groups, as part of the multinational force of the G5 Sahel, a group of five Sahelian countries - Chad, Mali, Mauritania , Niger and Burkina Faso - who have been trying since 2017 to cooperate in this fight.
Half of this Chadian contingent was redeployed at the end of August in the Lake Chad area, the haunt of the jihadist group Boko Haram and its dissident branch, the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap), which spans four countries, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.