Niger’s army regained control of Bosso near the southeastern border with neighboring Nigeria on Saturday after one of the biggest attacks in the country by Islamic militant group Boko Haram last night left 32 soldiers dead and forced the military to retreat.
“This morning our forces are in Bosso and occupy the town,” Niger Defense Minister Hassoumi Massoudou said by phone from Niamey, the capital. “The situation is under control.”
The attack on Bosso started 7 p.m. on Friday while militants remained in the town until 3 a.m., Bosso Mayor Mamadou Elhadi Bako said by phone on Saturday. Residents were fleeing Bosso, Bako said, adding that he was sending his own family to the nearby town of Diffa. The attackers took weapons and ammunition, he said.
Dozens of Boko Haram members were killed and wounded while 30 Nigerien and two Nigerian soldiers died and another 67 got injured during the attack, Massoudou said.
Niger’s southeastern Diffa region has been under a state of emergency since last year after Boko Haram started carrying out attacks in the country. The Islamist militant group has been waging a seven-year offensive from Nigeria that killed tens of thousands of people and spilled over to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, displacing as many as seven million, according to the U.S. government.