Niger security forces killed 57 members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram who attacked a village in the southeastern Diffa region overnight, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Fifteen soldiers and two civilians were wounded during the attack by heavily armed men in Gueskerou village, which is around 30 km (22 miles) northeast of Diffa town, it said.
Defence Ministry Statement Among the enemy there were 57 terrorists killed, a Toyota pick-up recovered along with a 60 mm mortar, two RPG 7s (rocket propelled grenade launchers), five machine guns, 20 AK-47s and a lot of ammunition.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
Spokesman Col Toure Abdoul Aziz said that the Ministry of Defense, in the name of the President, congratulated security forces for gains against Nigerian-based Boko Haram extremists, whose seven-year insurgency has killed at least 20,000 people.
Niger contributes to the multi-national force set up to fight Boko Haram in the region.
Boko Haram has displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state in Nigeria. A regional force that includes troops from Niger has retaken much of its territory in the last two years.
In recent years its attacks have spilled into neighbouring Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
(With inputs from Reuters and AP.)
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