Niger: Conflicting reports over death toll in terrorist attack

APA-Niamey (Niger)

Reports on Wednesday on terrorist attack against Niger’s security and defense forces have given rise to considerable controversy on Thursday.

According to the Ministry of National Defense, 17 soldiers were killed and 11 missing. However, social networks and local and international media reports said the attack left 28 military dead.

To back up their record, social networks and the media claim that the missing soldiers mentioned by the ministry have all been found dead, resulting in a death toll of 28.

These contradictory assessments have sparked a wide debate on social networks where people blast the inefficiency of government communication.

Alarmists, many Internet users wonder whether the government is telling the truth about the actual death toll. In support of their questions, they deplore the silence of Niger’s Government Spokesman.

For the moment, only the Ministry of Defense has spoken, on the Wednesday evening newscast of 17 killed and 11 missing, a report far from convincing the Nigeriens who make a link between Wednesday night’s ambush and the terrorist attacks launched on Monday in the region of Tillabery. One of these had targeted the high security prison of Koutoukale, located about 50 km from Niamey.

According to a tweet by the Minister of Home Affairs, Bazoum Mohamed, the security forces had not only repulsed this attack but went after the terrorists.

For many Nigeriens, this hunt for terrorists has proved a trap for the Police who have fallen into the ambush in Mangaize, a town located near the Malian border.


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