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Niger troops kill 57 Boko Haram fighters: security sources

NIAMEY – Niger troops have killed 57 Boko Haram jihadists during fighting in the southeast Niger, a security source told AFP Monday.

Ten soldiers were slightly injured in the exchanges which broke out late Sunday after a large group of Islamist fighters arrived on motorbikes and cars, a member of the security forces said.

The Boko Haram fighters were “clearly well-trained and certainly well informed about our positions,” the source said.

The fighting took place in Gueskerou, a village in the West African country s southeastern region of Diffa bordering Nigeria, from where a bloody uprising by Boko Haram fighters has spilled over.

Government forces are working to identify the body of one of those killed who is believed to be a Boko Haram leader, according to the source.

The military pushed the fighters back towards Nigeria and seized firearms, munition and three vehicles, including one equipped with a mounted weapon stolen from the military in the town of Bosso last June, the source added.

Boko Haram s insurgency began in northeast Nigeria and has spread to Chad, Cameroon and Niger, claiming more than 20,000 lives and displaced 2.6 million people.

Niger declared a state of emergency in Diffa, home to more than 300,000 refugees and internally displaced people.

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