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Buhari condoles Niger Republic over killing of 67 soldiers by Islamist militants


President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the terrorist attack in Inates, western region of Niger Republic, which killed 67 military personnel, with 34 people still unaccounted.

Buhari, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, sent condolences to the families of those affected as well as the government of Niger Republic.

‘’On behalf of myself, the government and people of Nigeria, I send our deepest condolences to the families of the bereaved, the government and the people of Niger Republic following this dastardly attack.

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‘’We offer prayers for the repose of those murdered and for the safe recovery and return of those who are still to be accounted for,” said the President.

The attack was the deadliest on Niger’s military since the armed forces began fighting Islamist militants in 2015.

“The attack killed more than 60,” a source told AFP. “The terrorists bombarded the camp with shells and mortars. The explosions from ammunition and fuel were the cause of the heavy toll.”

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The source did not say which group was responsible for the deadly assault.

The town of Inates is in the Tillaberi region, around 260 km (160 miles) north of the capital, Niamey.

Local media put the death toll at more than 70, with dozens reported missing.

A security source claimed that dozens of assailants on motorcycles surrounded and attacked the camp at around 7:30 p.m. (1830 GMT).

President Mahamadou Issoufou cut short a visit to Egypt, where he was attending a conference on sustainable peace, security and development in Africa to return to Niger following the attack, the Presidency tweeted.

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