16 soldiers killed by attackers in Southwest Niger

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Maradi State, Niger.December 12, 2019. Niger Army soldier takes a breather during security patrol near the Nigerian border in Maradi State. The lawless borders with Nigeria and Mali continue to be hotbeds for Islamic Jihadist insurgents and marauding local militias who, in the last few months, have attacked and killed over 250 soldiers from the Niger Army. (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)

Unidentified gunmen have killed 16 soldiers and wounded six others in an ambush in southwest Niger, two security sources said on Sunday.

The attack on an army patrol occurred on Saturday afternoon in the Tahoua region of the West African country, near where raids killed 137 civilians in March.

It is unclear who carried out the attack, but the area is overrun by jihadist groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Those groups have killed hundreds of soldiers and civilians since 2018 when they began broadening their reach beyond bases in Mali. Now, large areas of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have fallen under their control.

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