Gunmen kill 13 Niger gendarmes in attack near Mali border
Gunmen on pick-up trucks and motorcycles coming from Mali killed 13 gendarmes and wounded five more in an attack on their base in western Niger, security sources said on Saturday, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The village is a few dozen kilometers from where militants killed four U.S. soldiers in an ambush on Oct. 4 that has thrown a spotlight on U.S. counterterrorism mission in Niger, which straddles a large expanse of the Sahara.
Niger’s military officials confirmed the attack and death toll but gave no further details.
The assailants crossed over the border from Mali and drove up to the village of Ayorou, about 40 km (25 miles) inside, before springing their attack, the security sources said.
“They were heavily armed. They had rocket launchers and machine guns. They came in four vehicles each with about seven fighters,” said a security source on the scene.
Reinforcements later arrived and stopped them as they tried to head back into Mali, another security source on the scene said, and a gun battle with the militants was underway.
“Land and air forces are pursuing the assailantswith a view to neutralizing them,” a statement from Niger’s military said, confirming the death toll.
In the initial attack one of the assailants was killed in an exchange of fire but others managed to make off with four Nigerien army vehicles, the first security source said.
Since taking over swathes of northern Mali in 2012, and then being scattered by a French-led counter-offensive the following year, Islamist militants have established themselves in several lawless spaces across the desert.
They have used these areas as a springboard for a wave of attacks that threaten to destabilize much of West Africa. Fighters have inflicted damage on military outposts, killed security officials and civilians, kidnapped Westerners and sometimes mounted high-profile attacks on hotels and resorts across the region, including in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Several Islamist militant groups and well-armed ethnic militia are known to operate in the area along the Mali-Niger border, and there have been at least 46 attacks recorded there since early least year.
However, officials suspect many of them, including the ambush on the joint U.S.-Niger patrol, to be the work of a group called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, led by Arabic-speaking north African militant Adnan Walid al-Sahrawi. He has pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, although the extent of their ties are not well known.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack, or the one that killed the U.S. soldiers.
Responding to its ever growing militant threat, Mali on Saturday announced a year-long extension of a state of emergency across the country.
“I hope we won’t need to continue extending the state of emergency,” Defence Minister Tiena Coulibaly told reporters. “We hope that before 31st October, 2018, order will be restored.”
The increasingly fluid, cross-border nature of the militant threat has forced the Sahel countries to work closer together. In July Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Burkina Faso launched a joint force -- nicknamed “G5 Sahel” -- to try better coordinate policing their deserts.
But it has yet to receive a commitment to more than a fraction of the donor funding that it needs to opera
Elchin Babayev: “We draw up development concept of Baku State University until 2030”
Azerbaijani President’s activity further strengthened his positive image in public opinion - SURVEY
Central Election Commission discloses number of international institutions invited for observation of municipals elections
28 years pass since Armenia shot down MI-8 helicopter on the sky of Garakend - LIST OF THE 22 KILLED
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva congratulates people of Azerbaijan on National Revival Day
Former member of Musavat Party revealed next forged document given by the party to political migrant - PHOTO
President allocates additional funds to eliminate consequences of earthquake in Aghsu
President Ilham Aliyev: "Our development will be successful and our future prosperous"
Azerbaijani President: "National leader Heydar Aliyev laid the foundation of state-religion relations"
Turkish Naval Forces delegation pays a visit to Baku
President Ilham Aliyev inaugurated Sumgayit Mugham Center
Three students poisoned in Azerbaijan, one died - NAMES - UPDATED
President İlham Aliyev inaugurated new building of Nizami cinema in Sumgayit
North Korea says "not right time" for Kim to attend South Korea ASEAN summit
President Ilham Aliyev viewed conditions created at newly built part of Sumgait Boulevard Complex
Germany fines BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen for forming steel cartel
Chief Physician of Clinical Medical Center: "Poisoned students are in a depressed case "
President Ilham Aliyev attended event marking 70th anniversary of Sumgayit
US Vice-President: "Message is clear: the American people stand with the people of Iran"
President Ilham Aliyev arrived in Sumgayit for visit
British Airways flights delayed by technical issues
Pope, in Thailand, calls for action to safeguard women, children
Turkey: "Never used banned arms in N. Syria operation"
Prime Minister of Azerbaijan to take part in the first investment summit of the EBRD EaP
China says it will strive to reach 'phase one' trade deal with U.S.
Intensive rain to fall, strong wind to blow in Azerbaijan
4 PKK terrorists surrender to Turkish forces
Discussian held regarding Nagorno Garabagh conflict at Turkish Foreign Ministry
Baku Traffic Police appeals drivers on severely worsening weather condition
Elchin Babayev: “We draw up development concept of Baku State University until 2030”
Google joins Twitter in limiting political advertisements
School classes cancelled in Nur-Sultan for severe frosts
Azerbaijani Ambassador presents his credentials to Indonesian President
Azerbaijan not to implement Double diploma programmes with foreign universities, cooperating with separatist Nagorno Garabagh regime
Azerbaijan Airlines reached key agreements at Dubai Air Show 2019 - PHOTO
Russian co-chair: "Should be taken into consideration the opinion of the whole population of the region during settlement of the Nagorno Garabagh conflict" - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Ombudsman: “There are cases of violence against children in Azerbaijan too”
OSCE Chairman-in-Office to visit Azerbaijan
Lost Turkish citizens found in Baku
Israeli ambassador completing his diplomatic tenure leaves Azerbaijan
7 people injured in gas cylinder explosion in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijani MES: Affirmative reviews issued for 233 buildings
Turkey's former Chief of General Staff Yasar Buyukanit died
“Ghosty” application removed from Google Play Store and App Store with application of Electron Security Service
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
MoD: Armenia violated ceasefire 22 times throughout the day
Trump expected to sign Hong Kong human rights legislation
EMSC: Magnitude 5.9 quake strikes Laos
Gas prices increase on world markets
Oil prices decrease again
Google bars elections ads from using political leanings, voter data
Trump considering withdrawing up to 4,000 U.S. troops from South Korea: report
Seventeen Democrats, three Republicans in U.S. presidential race
Pompeo says 'did not see' Sondland's testimony, proud of U.S. policy on Ukraine
Islamic State claims responsibility for killing 30 Malian soldiers
Saudi king blames Iran for 'chaos', says strikes failed to hurt kingdom's development
At least 5 dead after explosion at fireworks warehouse in Barcelona - UPDATED
North Korea says no interest in Trump summit until 'hostile policy' removed
‘United States is a great country’: Putin says Russia, US have common interests, should cooperate
Rocket and artillery units conducted live-fire training - PHOTO - VIDEO
People pour onto streets of Edinburgh, Scotland to protest in support of independence - VIDEO
Deputy Chairman of State Committee: “Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces are among strongest armies of the world” - VIDEO
UK PM Johnson addresses Parliament on new Brexit proposal - VIDEO
Azerbaijani President and first lady inaugurated Koroglu Transport Exchange Center of Baku Transport Agency - UPDATED
Mariya Stadnik secures World Champion title after 10 years - PHOTOSESSİON
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva viewed conditions created at newly-built park in Kurdakhani - UPDATED
Command and Staff Exercises began in the Azerbaijan Army
Days of Azerbaijani Culture open in Cannes organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation - PHOTOSESSION
Valdai. Garabagh is Azerbaijan! – SPECİAL REPORTAGE
Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Estonia met with Head of Estonia-Azerbaijan parliamentary group
Knifeman kills four police officers in Paris