(NIGER, Africa.) JUST IN: Attack By Islamist militants on an army base that began with two car-bombs and gunmen on motorbikes and left 18-soldiers dead #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – July.03: At least 18 soldiers have been killed in western Niger in an attack by suspected Islamist militants on a military base: The attack began with the detonation of two car bombs, officials said, before gunmen on motorbikes joined the raid: Air strikes by US and French forces helped to drive the insurgents back, the government said: Islamist militants are active in the region and killed 28 Nigerian soldiers in a similar raid in May.

Niger is due to host the African Union summit at the end of the week: In a statement, the defence ministry said Monday’s raid took place at Inates, near the border with Mali.

It said that as well as the 18 soldiers killed, four were missing: A lorry was destroyed by the air strikes and several “terrorists neutralised”, the statement added: Niger and other countries in the Sahel region of Africa have been facing a growing threat from militants including the Islamic State group and affiliates of al-Qaeda.

The groups are most active in Mali but often stage cross-border raids: Niger is part of a five nation anti-insurgency force operating in the Sahel that includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania: Despite deployments of French, US and UN forces, the region – including Niger – remains restive.

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Reuters.Com/ Published: July.03: 2019:

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