More than 70 killed in attack on Niger military camp
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Niamey - An attack on a military camp in western Niger has left
71 military personnel dead, according to an army statement read on
national television late Wednesday.
Fifty-seven of the attackers were also killed, the statement said,
while 12 people were injured and several others were missing.
The assault took place on Tuesday evening. Unidentified armed
attackers arrived at the camp in the town of Inates - near the border
with Mali - on motorbikes and pickup trucks as soldiers were
preparing for evening prayers, according to a local source.
It was the second attack in less than six months on the camp.
Eighteen soldiers had been killed in an attack in July for which the
Islamic State in West Africa Province - a splinter group of the Boko
Haram terrorist group - had claimed responsibility.
Islamist terrorist groups are especially active in Niger's west, not
far from the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso. Some of them are
loyal to al-Qaeda while others are tied to Islamic State.
Tuesday's attack led President Issoufou Mahamadou to cut short a trip
to Egypt, where he was attending a conference on sustainable peace,
security and development in Africa. His office called the attack a
"tragedy" on Twitter.
Mahamadou arrived back in the Nigerien capital Niamey on Wednesday
evening and is due to chair a meeting of the National Security
Council on Thursday, his office tweeted.
The Inates attack came 24 hours after another assault on a military
base in the region of Tahoua, which left three soldiers and 14
"terrorists" dead, according to the Nigerien Defence Ministry.