17 troops killed in new Niger attack 

NIAMEY - Sev­enteen troops died in a mili­tants ambush in Niger, the government said, in a re­minder of the nation’s deep security crisis as its mili­tary rulers face off against neighbours determined to reverse last month’s coup. An army detachment was “the victim of a terrorist ambush near the town of Koutougou” in the Tillaberi region near Burkina Faso on Tuesday, said a defence ministry statement pub­lished later that day. It added that another 20 sol­diers had been wounded, six seriously, with all the casualties evacuated to the capital Niamey. More than 100 assailants, who were travelling on motorbikes, were “neutralised” dur­ing their retreat, the army said. A jihadist insurgency has plagued Africa’s Sa­hel region for more than a decade, breaking out in northern Mali in 2012 be­fore spreading to neigh­bouring Niger and Burkina Faso in 2015. The so-called “three borders” area be­tween the three countries is regularly the scene of attacks by rebels affiliated with the Islamic State group and Al- Qaeda. The unrest across the region has killed thousands of troops, police officers and civilians and forced millions to flee their homes

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