Twenty-two soldiers have been killed in an attack blamed on Takfiris against a camp in Niger sheltering Malian refugees, a security official said on Friday.
AFP gathered that the attack against the camp in Tazalit, in the Tahoua region of the capital Niamey, occurred on Thursday.
“Some 30 to 40 heavily armed men speaking in Tuareg carried out the attack, killing 22 soldiers,” the security official told AFP, adding that the attack was “probably carried out by jihadists.”
The assailants “headed directly to the camp’s security post and machine-gunned the soldiers who were having lunch,” the security official added.
This is just the jihadists left the vicinity two hours later, after seizing three vehicles, including an ambulance, as well as weapons, food and clothing.
Confirming the death toll, the UN refugee agency, in a statement, said that five soldiers were also injured in the attack, while three managed to escape.
The agency added in the statement that more than 50,000 Malians have sought refuge in Niger.
In spite of a peace accord and a 2013 international military intervention, large tracts of Mali are still not controlled by domestic or foreign troops and remain subject to attacks by jihadist groups.