France is to send a contingent of counter-terror forces within three days to help the army in Niger after militants ambushed a military patrol killing 16. The defence ministry said, the decision was taken following a request from President Mahamadou Issoufou after Wednesday’s attack near the border with Mali.
A French military source said it would include 50 to 80 troops, most of them special forces, who would be operational in the area. They would be equipped with aerial support capacity to provide backup for Niger forces on the ground.
The deadly ambush, which took place in an area some 200 kilometres north of the capital, Niamey, also wounded another 18 Niger troops, with the army blaming terrorist elements.