The Nigerien Defence Ministry says another 20 soldiers were wounded in the attack.
At least 17 Niger soldiers have been killed in an attack by armed groups near the border with Mali, the country’s Ministry of Defence said.
According to a statement released late on Tuesday, “a detachment of the Nigerien Armed Forces (FAN) moving between Boni and Torodi was the victim of a terrorist ambush near the town of Koutougou [52km southwest of Torodi]”.
It added that another 20 soldiers had been injured, with all of them evacuated to Niamey, the capital.
More than 100 assailants were “neutralised” during their retreat, the army said.
In the last decade, the border area where central Mali, northern Burkina Faso and western Niger converge has become the epicentre of violence by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) in the Sahel region.
Anger at the bloodshed has fuelled military takeovers in all three countries since 2020, with Niger the latest to fall to a coup on July 26 when President Mohamed Bazoum was removed.
Southeast Niger is also the target of armed groups crossing from northeastern Nigeria – the cradle of a campaign initiated by Boko Haram in 2010.
This is a developing story. More to follow.