NIAMEY, Niger – Islamic extremists from Nigeria attacked a border town inside the neighboring country of Niger, marking the second foreign country attacked by the group known as Boko Haram in several days.
The escalation in violence came as regional leaders meet for a second day in the Cameroonian capital to finalize plans for a coordinated military response to the terror group blamed for killing 10,000 people over the past year.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a town inside Cameroon, leaving nearly 100 people dead and some 500 others wounded, according to Cameroonian officials.
Abba Hassan, a pharmacist reached in the border town of Bosso, Niger said other Boko Haram militants attacked the community early Friday and that soldiers fought an hour-long battle with them that caused the Boko Haram members to withdraw, leaving the streets deserted.
"Niger and Chadian planes are conducting surveillance at the moment in town and troops on the ground are combing through the streets," Hassan told The Associated Press by phone.
The region of Niger where the violence took place is an area where refugees already have arrived by the thousands seeking safety from Boko Haram attacks elsewhere.
After being bombed out of several Nigerian towns, hundreds of Boko Haram fighters responded by attacking Fotokol in Cameroon earlier this week, razing mosques and churches and warning Nigeria's neighbors not to join the battle against their insurgency.
Last week, African leaders authorized a 7,500-strong force to fight the extremists, including pledges of troops from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin.