Niger troops kill more than 280 Boko Haram fighters – government

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NIAMEY (Reuters) – Troops and air strikes have killed more than 280 Boko Haram militants since the Niger government started an operation against the group last week, the defence ministry said.

Boko Haram has attacked Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria, where it has been fighting for more than nine years to carve out an Islamist caliphate.

Niger’s defence ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the army mounted a sweep operation against the group last Friday along the southeastern Komadugu river, which separates Niger from Nigeria.

More than 200 militants were “neutralized” by air strikes and 87 were killed by Nigerien troops on the ground, it said.

In June 2016, more than 30 Nigerien soldiers were killed during a Boko Haram attack on the town of Bosso, prompting Chad to send 2,000 troops to help its West African neighbour counter the militants.

Those troops were withdrawn in October 2017, raising concern about security in the Diffa region.

Reporting by Boureima Balima, Writing by Sofia Christensen, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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