NIAMEY, Niger – A spokesman for Niger's military says at least 15 soldiers have been killed in an attack by Islamic extremists on a patrol near the country's border with Mali.
Colonel Abdoul Aziz Toure said Thursday that the attack near the village of Interzawane in the Tillaberi region on Wednesday also wounded 19 other soldiers. He says the military is pursuing the attackers.
The attack follows an agreement earlier this month among the presidents of five countries in Africa's vast Sahel region, including Niger, to set up a joint counterterrorism force.
The countries in the regional G5 group — Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad — have been targeted in many high-profile attacks by numerous extremist groups, including Boko Haram and others that have been linked to al-Qaida.