Niger’s air force bombed a Boko Haram base in the country’s southeast and arrested more than 20 militants, security sources said on Thursday, in its biggest counter-attack in eight months.

Members of the Islamist militant group based mostly in northeastern Nigeria have repeatedly attacked the Lake Chad area, including Niger’s southern border region of Diffa.

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Government forces tracked the militants after a soldier was killed when a military vehicle was blown up by remote control by the group near Lake Chad on Monday, the sources said.

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“Our air forces destroyed this nest, but we do not yet have an official death toll,” a military officer said. Soldiers arrested the remaining fighters.

In October, Niger’s parliament approved a three-month extension of a 15-day state of emergency in Diffa in order to boost security.

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A long-awaited 8,700 regional task force is set to begin joint raids on Boko Haram’s last enclaves when the rainy season ends soon, the top U.N. official in West Africa said.

 


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