« 63 terrorists » and 25 people were killed Thursday during the attack on the Chinégodar military camp (west, border with Mali), according to a statement by the Nigerian Ministry of Defense, one month after the attack by jihadists from the camp of ‘Inates in the same sector, which had left 71 dead.
“On Thursday, around 1:00 p.m. (12:00 p.m. GMT), the Chinégodar advanced military post repelled an attack by terrorist elements. The provisional assessment is as follows: friend side 25 dead and six injured. On the enemy side, 63 terrorists neutralized (killed) ”, according to the text read on public television by the Defense spokesperson, Colonel Souleymane Gazobi.
The attackers “came aboard several vehicles and motorcycles” according to the text which ensures that “the response with the combined air support of the Niger Air Force and our partners made it possible to strike and put the enemy routed outside our borders ”.
By « partners », Niger often means fighter planes or French drones positioned in Niamey within the framework of the anti-jihadist operation Barkhane and the American drones which permanently monitor the Sahel.
“The sweeping operations continue,” concludes the press release.
Earlier, a security source said the attack was carried out by « heavily armed men who came on motorcycles and in vehicles. »
It was the first attack on the camp of Chinégodar, a Nigerien village located 10 km from the Malian border, in the Tillabéri region (west) often targeted by jihadist attacks.
Chinégodar welcomed the first Malian refugees in 2012 after the Tuareg rebel offensive and their fighting with the army in northern Mali.
A state of emergency supposed to prevent recurrent jihadist incursions is already in force. Tillaberi authorities also decided to « ban the circulation of motorcycles, night and day » in several localities, including in the city of Tillaberi, the regional capital.
It is in this same region of Tillabéri, also bordering Burkina Faso, that 71 Nigerien soldiers were killed on December 10 in Inates, in an operation claimed by the Islamic State group, the worst attack in Niger since the revival of jihadist actions in 2015.
On December 25, 14 soldiers were also killed in a « terrorist » attack in the commune of Sanam, also in the Tillabéri region.
Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou announced on December 22, during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, that the Sahel countries and France would launch “an appeal for international solidarity” during a summit in Pau (southwest of France ) January 13, devoted to the fight against jihadist groups.