Niger defense ministry: 17 soldiers killed in ambush near Burkina Faso border

Niger's defense ministry said that 17 of its soldiers had been killed in an ambush on Tuesday in a southwest region bordering Burkina Faso.

Attacks in Niger have been falling since 2021 but security remains a major problem, especially in the southwest near the border with neighboring Mali.

On the Malian side, the departure of French troops last year left a security vacuum that groups linked to Islamic State and Al Qaeda have expanded into.

A detachment of Niger's army was attacked in an ambush next to Torodi commune, the defense ministry said in a statement. It added that more than a hundred "terrorists" were neutralized.

"The swift reaction of the soldiers and the air-land response at the scene of the skirmish enabled the enemy to be dealt with," the statement said.