Death Toll of the attack is 17 servicemen
A terrorist attack in Niger has claimed the lives of 17 servicemen, underscoring the significant security crisis within the country, as reported by Sarbaz.kz citing Defence Post.
According to a later statement issued by the Ministry of Defence on the same day, a military unit fell victim to a terrorist ambush near the town of Kutugu in the Tillaberi region, located near Burkina Faso. The statement also indicated that an additional twenty soldiers sustained injuries, six of whom are in critical condition. All the wounded were promptly evacuated to the capital city of Niamey.
In response to the attack, the military reported the successful neutralization of over a hundred assailants who were retreating on motorcycles.
For over a decade, the Sahel region in Africa has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Originating in northern Mali in 2012, the insurgency subsequently spread to Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015.
The persistent instability in the region has led to the loss of numerous servicemen, police personnel, and civilians, resulting in millions of people being displaced from their homes. The ongoing bloodshed has contributed to a series of military coups in all three countries since 2020, with Niger being the latest victim. On July 26th, the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, was ousted in Niger.
Given the concerning string of coups, the West African bloc ECOWAS has cautioned about the possibility of military intervention to restore President Bazoum, who is currently held in custody within the presidential complex in Niamey. Military leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are set to convene in Ghana on Thursday and Friday in accordance with their leaders' prior decision. This decision entails the deployment of "reserve forces for the restoration of constitutional order" in Niger.
While analysts acknowledge potential military and political risks associated with the intervention, ECOWAS favors a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.