NIAMEY (Reuters) - Niger security forces killed 57 members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram who attacked a village in the southeastern Diffa region overnight, the defense ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Fifteen soldiers and two civilians were wounded during the attack by heavily armed men in Gueskerou village, which is around 30 km (22 miles) northeast of Diffa town, it said.
“Among the enemy there were 57 terrorists killed, a Toyota pick-up recovered along with a 60 mm mortar, two RPG 7s (rocket propelled grenade launchers), five machine guns, 20 AK-47s and a lot of ammunition,” the statement said. The report could not be independently confirmed.
Boko Haram has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state in Nigeria. A regional force that includes troops from Niger has retaken much of its territory in the last two years.
In recent years its attacks have spilled into neighboring Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Reporting by Boureima Balima; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Larry King