Niger in mourning after 'terrorist armed group' kill 20 soldiers, one civilian

An armed group killed 20 troops and one civilian in jihadist-plagued western Niger on Tuesday, the defence ministry said, announcing three days of national mourning.

"A coalition of terrorist armed groups" attacked security forces near the village of Tassia, leaving "21 martyrs including one civilian" and nine injured, the ministry announced in a statement on national television.

It said "several dozen" of the assailants were killed and that aerial and ground reinforcements were being deployed to track down the rest of the attackers.

Three days of national mourning will begin from Wednesday with flags lowered to half-mast, the ministry said, speaking of the security forces' "unshakeable determination" to "continue this fight for sovereignty".

Tassia lies in the Tillaberi region bordering Mali and Burkina Faso where rebels linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have waged a bloody insurgency for almost a decade.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
France to reduce troops in West and Central Africa to 600, say sources
Senegal's Faye makes first visit to military-ruled Mali and Burkina Faso
Chinese-owned gold mines in Niger ordered shut after herders report animal deaths