Attack on Refugee Camp in Niger Leaves 22 Soldiers Dead

An attack against a refugee camp in Niger on Thursday has left 22 soldiers dead.

Another five military personnel were wounded in the raid on the Tazalit facility, which accommodates refugees from neighboring Mali, according to a statement read on Niger’s state-owned radio broadcaster La Voix du Sahel late on Friday. The government declared two days of national mourning.

The attack was carried out by unidentified armed men from northern Mali, probably from the region of Kidal, Niger’s Defense Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou told Radio France Internationale. The assailants looted the camp before fleeing back to Mali, according to the radio report.

The remote northern town of Kidal has been a stronghold of armed groups since Tuareg insurgents joined forces with Islamist militants in a bid to take control of a vast swath of the West African country in 2012.

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