At least 20 soldiers, one civilian killed in Niger

At least 20 soldiers and a civilian were killed in an attack by armed groups in western Niger, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The ministry announced three days of national mourning starting on Wednesday, following the previous day’s ambush of security forces near the village of Tassia in the Tillaberi region, which left nine others wounded.

The attack, close to the border with Burkina Faso, was carried out by a coalition of armed groups, the ministry said in a statement read out on state television, without naming any group.

Soldiers had killed dozens of fighters while defending themselves, it said. Aerial and ground reinforcements were being deployed to track down the rest of the attackers.

Niger’s military government came to power last year in a military coup, overthrowing the democratically elected government.

It has expelled French and United States forces from the country, with the latter ordered to leave by September 15, turning to Russian mercenaries as it struggles to quell the armed rebellion.



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