A gendarme and four civilians were killed on Friday in Niger in a “complex terrorist attack” on the road connecting Torodi to Makalondi, in the Tillabéri region (southwest), near Burkina Faso, the army announced on Saturday.
The national army described as “complex” the terrorist attack, which has just left Niger on Friday, July 15, on the road axis that connects Torodi with Makalondi, in the region of Tillabéri (south-west), near Burkina Faso. A gendarme and four civilians lost their lives there, again according to the army report.
“On the afternoon of July 14, 2023, at around 1:40 p.m. local time, a detachment of the National Gendarmerie on a convoy escort mission on the Torodi-Makalondi section was the target of a complex terrorist attack,” states a press release from the staff of Niger’s armies.
According to the staff report, five people, including a gendarme and four civilians, “died”. Nineteen people were injured, including seven gendarmes, five soldiers and seven civilians evacuated to Niamey, the text continues.
“On the enemy side, two terrorists were killed” following a “vigorous response” by Nigerian forces, the statement said.
In addition, the Nigerian soldiers found five motorcycles, two AK47 rifles and a portable radio belonging to the attackers.
Torodi and Makalondi are two municipalities located respectively 55 and 96 km from the capital Niamey, in the south-western part of the country.
Makalondi police station, the last town in Niger before the border with Burkina, has been targeted several times by suspected jihadists: last March “heavily armed men” set fire to it and injured a civilian.
Lair of Sahel jihadists
The Tillabéri region, located in the so-called “three borders” area between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, is a haven for Sahelian jihadists, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS).
For years, this part of Niger has regularly been the target of attacks by Islamist groups, despite the massive deployment of anti-jihadist forces and the current state of emergency.
French soldiers are fighting there alongside Nigerian soldiers, according to authorities in the two countries.
More than 10,800 people, including women and children from a dozen villages in the department of Say, still in this region, have fled their homes since the beginning of July, following “violence” by armed men, reported Wednesday. humanitarian sources and local authorities.
In its southeast, bordering Lake Chad and Nigeria, Niger must also face the jihadists of Boko Haram and its dissident branch Iswap (Islamic State in West Africa).