In the western Tillabéri area, where jihadist organizations frequently conduct operations, the Nigerien National Guard (GNN) said on Sunday that seven Nigerien troops were killed when their vehicle burst on a mine.
According to a statement from the GNN, an organization affiliated with the Interior Ministry and leading the fight against jihadists, a vehicle of the weekly supply escort mission struck a mine late this morning, about 6 kilometers from the village of Samira in the department of Gothèye, close to the border with Burkina Faso.
The statement was aired on state television Sunday night and said, "Unfortunately, the death of seven occupants of the vehicle is deplored."
Since 2004, the sole industrial gold mine in Niger has been located near the hamlet of Samira.
The department of Gothèye is situated in the Tillabéri region, which is the location of the three borders of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, on the right bank of the Niger River.
Since February 2022, the Nigerien government has been waging an operation named Niya (Will, in the local language), which includes more than 2,000 soldiers, against jihadist organizations associated to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS).
In the south-eastern region of Niger, Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) have also carried out devastating attacks.
In the Ayorou area (Tillabéri region), where previous violent battles between communities left several dead, the army last week killed "six terrorists" and detained 19.
In a "terrorist" incident in June 2022, eight gendarmes were killed and 33 were injured in Waraou, a village in the Gothèye department.
Several Western nations, like France and the United States, who have military bases there, assist Niger in its fight against the jihadists.
Paris is currently reorganizing its military position in the Sahel, where 2,000 French soldiers are stationed in Niger, a crucial ally, while those stationed in Mali and Burkina Faso have been forced out.