Niger mosque attacked


Three suicide bombers killed 10 people at a mosque in Niger’s south-eastern city Diffa who gathered after breaking the Ramadan fast, an army spokesman said.

The area around Diffa, close to Lake Chad and the borders with Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, is a stronghold for factions of militant group Boko Haram, which have been fighting to establish an Islamic state in the region.
“It was last night these three people exploded their charges during a religious service,” the spokesman said. He later said the three bombers were female.

South-east Niger has seen sporadic attacks by militants loosely linked to Boko Haram. The Islamist group has gradually split into two factions, one of which has pledged allegiance to Syria-based Islamic State.

Troops from Niger and the United States killed 11 Islamist militants from that Islamic State affiliate in a firefight last December.

Boko Haram sometimes uses female suicide bombers against security forces and civilians, in part because they are attract less suspicion.

More than 15,000 people have been killed and millions displaced by conflict in the Lake Chad region.

After a deadly assault on the Nigerien town Bosso in June 2016 killed 32 soldiers, Chad sent 2,000 troops to Niger, but they were withdrawn in October last year.