Boko Haram retakes Niger town after weekend battles

Boko-Haram-retakes-Niger-town-after-weekend-battles.  BOSSO , Niger,Boko Haram militants recaptured the town of Bosso in southeastern Niger after weekend clashes left 32 soldiers dead.

Refugees from Boko Haram violence have settled in Diffa state, Niger. Attacks on Bosso, Niger, over the weekend have put the city back in Boko Haram hands. Photo by Ivain Chekauoi/UNICEF

Bosso, on the border with Nigeria, was attacked by “hundreds of assailants,” Niger’s defense ministry said, in a battle in which 30 soldiers from Niger and two from Nigeria were killed. Nigerien troops retook the town of about 52,000 on Saturday, the ministry reported; by Monday it was back in Boko Haram hands, the mayor of Bosso said.

The ministry added in a statement that “several deaths” were reported among Boko Haram forces.

Boko Haram has been fighting since 2009 to establish a Islamic caliphate in Nigeria and is now battling a coalition of African countries.

Bosso is in Niger’s Diffa region, where many people who have fled Boko Haram violence are now living. Boko Haram attacks in the area began in February 2015, with increased violence since April 2016, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs reported. It added that as many as 40,000 refugees are moving to safer environments, and in need of humanitarian aid.

By Ed Adamczyk