Niger's defense ministry announced on Wednesday, May 13, that at least 25 suspected Boko Haram militants were killed in a security operation in the southeastern Diffa region. The operation, conducted by Nigerien troops attached to the regional Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), reportedly took place on Monday, May 11, along the Komadougou river, south of the city of Diffa. Two soldiers were wounded in the assault. Authorities also announced that a further 50 Boko Haram fighters had been killed the same day in MNJTF air and artillery strikes which targeted the Lake Chad island of Tumbun Fulani in neighboring Nigeria. Although neither claim has been independently verified, several vehicles and an unspecified quantity of arms and equipment were reportedly captured from the militants in Diffa.
Further security operations are possible in Diffa over the near term.
The Diffa region has seen an increase in attacks linked to Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWA) in recent weeks, including a major assault on a military camp outside Diffa on May 3. Security has since been increased in the region, but further attacks remain likely in the medium term.
Niger faces a high threat from terrorism, including armed attacks and abductions. Militant Islamist cells from various Nigerian and Malian terrorist groups - including Boko Haram, Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Al-Mourabitoun - are all active in the country.
Individuals throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (e.g. government buildings, prominent hotels, etc.) and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
Many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to areas located in the north and west of the country, including areas along the border with Burkina Faso, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.
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