Attack on soldiers protecting refugee camp in Niger kills 22

TAZALIT , Niger,  At least 22 soldiers were killed in an attack Friday on a military encampment guarding refugees from Mali in Tazalit, Niger.

An attack on a military camp guarding Malian refugees in Tazalit, Niger, killed 22 soldiers Friday. Image courtesy of Google Maps

Although the attackers were not identified, Niger is battling Boko Haram insurgents who launch raids from Nigeria’s southern border with Niger.

None of the 4,000 refugees was harmed but three soldiers were injured, and the assailants looted the base health center before leaving, stealing medical supplies, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement. A UNHCR ambulance was burned and a military vehicle was stolen, the statement added.

The attack followed a similar raid on Sept. 10, when a security post at the refugee camp at Tabereybarey, Niger, was attacked. The camp houses nearly 10,000 refugees. A Malian refugee woman, 18, and a boy, 5, were killed, and five others were shot and wounded.

Niger currently hosts over 60,000 Malian and over 80,000 Nigerian refugees from Boko Haram, the UNHCR said.

By Ed Adamczyk