A bodyguard and four civilians were killed in Niger in a “complicated attack” by terrorists on a road linking Torondi with Makalondi in Tilaberi district (southwest), near the border with Burkina Faso, the army said at the weekend.

On Friday at noon, “around 1:40 p.m [σ.σ. τοπική ώρα· 15:40 ώρα Ελλάδας]a detachment of the gendarmerie on an escort mission in the Torondi-Makalondi section was the target of a complex terrorist attack,” according to a press release from the Niger National Defense General Staff.

According to the staff’s account, five people, a gendarme and four civilians, “died”, while another 19 were injured, including seven gendarmes, five soldiers and seven civilians, who were taken to a hospital in Niamey.

“On the enemy side, two terrorists were killed” in the “active reaction” of the Niger forces.

Niger’s army proceeded to seize five motorcycles, two AK-47 assault rifles and a radio.

The communities of Torondi and Makalondi, in the southwestern part of the country, are respectively 55 and 96 kilometers from the capital.

The police station in Makalondi, the second largest city before Niger’s border with Burkina Faso, has repeatedly been the target of attacks attributed to jihadists. In March, “heavily armed” men set it on fire, injuring a civilian.

The region of Tillabéri, in the zone of the trilateral border of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, is designated as a stronghold of Sahelian jihadists, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (IS).

For years, this part of Niger has been frequently targeted by jihadists, despite a massive deployment of counter-jihadist forces and a state of emergency that has been imposed.

More than 10,800 people, including women and children, from around ten villages in Se prefecture in the same region have been forced to flee their homes since early July following attacks, local authorities and sources close to the area said last Wednesday. humanitarian organizations.

In the fight against jihadists, Niger has the support – from the point of view of supplying and training its military – of France, the USA, Italy, Germany and Belgium.

The country is simultaneously facing deadly attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISIS) in its southeast, which borders Chad and Nigeria.