Niger kills 280 Boko Haram extremists in air and ground raids

280 Boko Haram extremists are killed in air and land raids by Niger’s military forces after the terror group seized military bases in neighbouring Nigeria

  • Boko Haram seized town of Baga and military bases in Nigeria on December 28 
  • Niger began carrying out airstrikes the same day and attacked with troops
  • Defense ministry says strikes killed 200 militants, with 87 more shot dead
  • Nigeria warned terror group was on the verge of resurgence using new drones 

Niger claims to have killed more than 280 Boko Haram terrorists after the group seized towns and military bases in neighbouring Nigeria last month. 

The country’s defence ministry said 200 militants have been killed in airstrikes since December 28, while another 87 have been killed by ground troops.

Niger has yet to suffer any casualties of its own, according to the ministry. 

Niger said 200 extremists were killed in airstrikes in neighbouring Nigeria while another 87 were killed by ground troops (pictured, a damaged village seized by Boko Haram)

Boko Haram – an Islamic extremist group – seized several towns including the commercial outpost of Baga near the borders with Cameroon, Chad, and Niger on December 28.

Troops at a multinational joint taskforce base were also forced into a ‘tactical retreat’, Nigeria said.

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Those who fled the violence in Baga told the BBC that extremists had raised flags in the town and hosted morning prayers the following day.

Extremists who identified as being from Islamic State’s West Africa Province, a former part of Boko Haram which splintered off, joined in the prayers.

Terrorists also seized control of tanks, boats and a large cache of weapons during the raid.  

Niger launched the attack on December 28 after Boko Haram seized several villages and a joint military base in Nigeria’s north east (pictured, a village damaged by the terror group in Nigeria)

The attack came after Nigeria warned in November about what it called an ‘extremist resurgence’ fueled by the new use of drones. 

Niger’s defense minister last month said he feared Boko Haram would launch renewed attacks from January, when the Komadougou-Yobe river which usually prevents border incursions begins to recede. 

Nigeria’s President Muhammdu Buhari will also be seeking a second term in office at elections in February, prompting the militants into action.

Buhari came to power in 2015, partly on a promise to defeat Boko Haram. 

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