Belgium ‘stands by Niger’ after attack on army post leaves 25 dead
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    Belgium ‘stands by Niger’ after attack on army post leaves 25 dead

    Niamey, the capital of Niger, about 209 kilometres south of where Thursday's attack on the military base took place. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

    The Belgian Minister of Defense Philippe Goffin expressed his condolences and solidarity after an attack on an army base in Niger on Thursday left 25 dead and wounded six.

    “My thoughts are with the victims of the attack on a soldier post in Chinagoder in Niger, which claimed the lives of 25 soldiers,” Goffin said in a tweet that surfaced online on Thursday at about 11 PM.

    “Belgium stands by Niger to fight against terrorism and bring stability to the region,” the tweet added.

    The attack took place near the western village of Chinegodar, about 209 km north of Niamey, the capital of Niger in West Africa, and not far from the border with Mali.

    While nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack that left 25 soldiers as well as 63 assailants dead, it is suspected that Islamist militants were responsible, as the attack coincides with an ongoing campaign by Islamist extremists in the area to push the Nigerien army back from the western frontier with Mali, France24 explains.

    Thursday’s attack comes only a month after gunmen ambushed a Nigerian army post in another border town, in an attack that left 71 soldiers dead and was claimed by the Islamic State West Africa province days later.

    The Sahel, a hub for Islamist insurgencies, is currently one of Africa’s region’s most affected by political violence, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times